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Roy, Jack help Trail Blazers outlast Bulls

Feb 7, 2008 - 7:20 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Brandon Roy scored 28 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 100-97 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and Jarrett Jack added 17 as the Trail Blazers salvaged a 3-3 record on their current six-game homestand.

"We really wanted to win this game before we hit the road," Jack said. "This game was crucial. We've been struggling a little bit and letting teams back into games. We ended this stand with good energy and had a good effort tonight."

Thabo Sefolosha scored a career-high 22 points to lead four players in double figures in scoring for the Bulls, who were without three of their top four scorers.

With Luol Deng already sidelined with a sore left Achilles tendon, Chicago was forced to go without starting point guard Kirk Hinrich - due to sore ribs - and top reserve Ben Gordon, who was resting an aggravated right wrist.

"The guys really played hard tonight," Bulls interim coach Jim Boylan said. "I'm not the one to make predictions, but I knew our guys would come out and give a great effort. We were shorthanded, but I knew the guys who were out there would come out with something extra."

Despite the lack of depth, Sefolosha and Andres Nocioni combined for 16 points in the fourth quarter to pull the Bulls within 73-65 with just over a minute to play.

"We lost two of our best guards, so somebody had to step up and take a couple more shots," Sefolosha said.

However, on Chicago's next possession, Ben Wallace couldn't handle the pass from a driving Nocioni, who finished with 22 points, and the Blazers took possession on the turnover.

Jack, who was told during the pre-game shootaround that he would be in the starting lineup, drove to the lane and passed to Travis Outlaw, who made the easy shot in front of the basket to give the Blazers a 95-90 advantage.

"We tried to make the stops but we ended up having to switch the bigs to the guards and everything and they got the buckets," Sefolosha said. "Travis Outlaw made a big shot where the ball bounced on the rim a couple of times. These are different things that can change the game."

After Sefolosha made a quick runner in the lane to pull the Bulls back within three, Jack hit the second of a pair of free throws.

Chris Duhon hit a long jumper for Chicago after Jack's free throws to keep it a one-possession game at 96-94.

But the Bulls were forced to foul Jack once again and, this time, the 24-year-old point guard made both free throws to seal the victory for Portland.

"It was a tough win and we probably would have liked to win by 10 or 15 (points)," Roy said. "But in the NBA, you take every win you can get. You have to give them credit. It was a gutsy effort. They had a couple players out but they had players do a great job of stepping up."

"Yeah, I think we had an opportunity to win the game at the end but we lost it," Nocioni said. "That's it. Sometimes, it happens. I think we played well. We don't have a lot of people right now, but I think we played together. You know we lost, but it's a good loss."

The Blazers got off to a hot start in the first quarter. Aldridge scored 10 points and Roy added eight as the Blazers scored the final six points of the period to claim a 27-21 lead after one period.

In the second, Jack's layup at the 2:51 mark gave the Blazers their biggest first-half lead, 47-34, but the Bulls refused to go away, ending the half on a 9-2 run to trail by just six entering the locker room.

"It seems we refuse to do things the easy way," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "We knew since they were shorthanded that they would play with effort. I thought Brandon just saved us tonight."

Roy scored 10 points in the third as Portland kept Chicago in check before a pair of 3-pointers by Nocioni narrowed its lead to 66-62.

"I don't think I was the savior, I just tried to be the balance tonight," Roy said. "There were times when they made runs, but I just wanted to stay aggressive to make sure we got this win."

After Steve Blake connected from 3-point range at the 1:42 mark to push the lead to 73-62, Nocioni answered with a three of his own as the Bulls trailed by eight heading into the fourth quarter.

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