Bulls' comeback bid falls short, drop second-straight to Blazers


Bulls' comeback bid falls short, drop second-straight to Blazers

PORTLAND If once is anomaly, is twice the start of a trend? For the second straight game, the Bulls (5-5) were given a taste of their own medicine and while Sundays 102-94 loss to the Trail Blazers (5-5) at the Rose Garden wasnt the blowout defeat the team suffered Saturday in Los Angeles, the lack of urgency, especially against an inexperienced young squad with inferior talent hints at deeper issues.

After an embarrassing loss the previous evening, the Bulls were locked in at the outset of the contest, as both Joakim Noah (16 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists) and Rip Hamilton (15 points) had their mid-range games clicking early on, helping the visitors build a slim cushion.

For the hosts, LaMarcus Aldridge (18 points, 13 rebounds)a former Bulls draft pick, though he was traded for the eventually-jettisoned Tyrus Thomasjustified his All-Star status early with his combination of finesse and interior play, while fellow big man J.J. Hicksons high activity level also made an impact and star rookie Damian Lillard (16 points) showed flashes of his tremendous ability.

However, the Bulls were focused on both strong defense and getting quality shotsthey shot nearly 62 percent from the floor in the opening quarterand with Noah displaying his all-around game as a scorer, passer and rebounder, not to mention a balanced effort that saw seven of the eight players who received playing time get on the board, the Blazers found themselves on their heels. After a period of play, the Bulls led, 30-23.

Portland started the second quarter with a 6-0 run to quickly narrow the gap, prompting a Bulls timeout, though not much changed afterwards, as they reverted to their ways from the night before, as ball security once again was an issue. So was point production, as the guests experienced one of their periodic offensive droughts, with the second unit, aside from backup point guard Nate Robinson (18 points), and the Blazers capitalized with Aldridges continued domination, as well as contributions from swingman Wesley Matthews (21 points), to overtake their opponents.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau eventually reinserted his regulars, with the exception of reserve swingman Jimmy Butler, but the turnover issues and inefficient offense persisted, allowing Portland to gain some separation.

Having lost all momentum and simply being out of sync on both ends, at the intermission, the Bulls trailed, 51-43, following a last-second layup by Lillard before the halftime buzzer.

Typically, the Bulls, whether instantaneously or in a more gradual process, adjust their mindset and overall approach during the break, coming back with a more focused effort, regardless of the results. That didnt occur in the third quarter, as they continually permitted the Blazers open looks, settled for contested jumpers and perhaps most disturbingly, didnt display the hustle thats defined this team during Thibodeaus tenure, particularly in defensive transition.

Swingman Nicolas Batum (21 points) took over the hot hand for Portland in the period, knocking down a trio of shots from long range, while Lillard, an early-season Rookie of the Year candidate, resumed his consistent play.

As the period waned on, however, the Bulls managed to trim the deficit behind Hamilton, Noah and later, energetic subs Butler and Taj Gibson (11 points), who had been struggling as of late, and heading into the final stanza, the visitors were behind by a more manageable 73-68 score.

Gibsons energetic play carried over to the fourth quarter and sparked by his hustle and toughness, as well as solid play from Noah and Luol Deng (14 points, seven rebounds), the Bulls knotted up the contest early in the period. But Portland countered with an 8-0 run to acquire some breathing rooman extended 12-2 spurt gave the hosts a double-digit edgeto make the contest a continued uphill battle for its guests.

Down the stretch, Robinson was the Bulls offensive catalyst, but as admirable as the effort of the diminutive scorer was, the visitors simply couldnt get over the hump, with the Blazers seemingly getting to every key loose ball and rising to the occasion late.

To put a nail in the Bulls coffin, Matthews, Butlers college teammate at Marquette took it upon himself with an array of jumpers and hustle plays to cement the home teams victory and while their guests, led by Robinson, would make an inspired last-gasp comeback in the games final minute, it was too little, too late.

What life was like the last time the Cubs hosted a World Series game at Wrigley Field

What life was like the last time the Cubs hosted a World Series game at Wrigley Field

25,950 days ago.

That's how long it's been since Wrigley Field last saw a World Series game played in front of the ivy.

Sure, 71 years is a long time, but when you break it down by days, it seems even more daunting.

For starters, take a glance at a snapshot of what Wrigley - and the world - looked like on the day of the last World Series game on Chicago's North side:

#FlashbackFriday: 71 years ago, the last time Wrigley Field hosted a #WorldSeries game.

A photo posted by MLB ⚾ (@mlb) on

Obviously, that was well before Wrigley got lights (1988).

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Here's some more perspective on how stunningly different life was back in 1945:

—The average cost of a new house was $4,600.

—The average salary was $2,400 per year per person.

—Gas cost 15 cents a gallon.

—New cars were just over $1,000.

—Life expectancy was 65.9 years (life expectancy in America is 79.3 years in 2016).

—Population of the U.S. was just shy of 140 million (In 2016, America's population is more than 324 million).

—Major League Baseball had only 16 teams, including zero teams west of St. Louis.

—The Giants had yet to move to San Francisco and were still in New York. The Dodgers had yet to move to Los Angeles and still made their home in Brooklyn.

—Washington had a baseball team, but they were called the Senators, not the Nationals.

—St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia each had two baseball teams, including the St. Louis Browns, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Athletics.

—Tigers pitcher Hal Newhouser won American League MVP honors while Cubs first baseman Phil Cavarretta took home the NL MVP with only six homers, though he did hit .355 with a .949 OPS.

—The first Super Bowl was still 22 years away from being played.

Among world events, 1945 was also when Adolf Hitler died, Germany surrendered in World War II and the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Japan.

America was also getting used to Harry S. Truman as president after Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office in April 1945.

Of course, if we go as far back as the last time the Cubs won the World Series, life would be quite a bit different even in the 37 years between 1908 and 1945.

Watch: Dwyane Wade's boyish exuberance comes out after his first win with hometown Bulls

Watch: Dwyane Wade's boyish exuberance comes out after his first win with hometown Bulls

NBA superstar Dwyane Wade showed just how happy he was to capture his first regular season win for this hometown Bulls as he walked to the locker room on Thursday night.

Wade was unable to contain his excitement as he left the court, blurting out the following.

"Thats the way to do it. That's a homecoming right there. I like that one."

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Wade finished his Bulls debut with 22 points, including hitting four three-pointers, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out five assists.

All capped off by a postgame hug with mom too.

Now that's one heck of a homecoming right there.