CHICAGO (AP) – Luol Deng scored a career-high 40 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 110-98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Deng scored 16 points in the first and third quarters and shot 14-of-19 from the floor in the game. He passed his previous career best of 38 with a 3-pointer from the corner with 5:48 to play. The shot put the Bulls up 101-84. He had 38 points against the Blazers on March 26, 2007.
Derrick Rose, who entered the game as the NBA's leading scorer, added 16 points and 12 assists for Chicago (2-1).
The Trail Blazers entered the game 3-0, with all three of their victories coming as a result of fourth quarter comebacks. Portland outscored opponents 85-49 in the final quarters of its first three games, but were unable to mount a sustained rally against the Bulls.
Portland rallied from nine points down with a 17-3 run to finish its game in New York on Friday night. Reserves Dante Cunningham and Armon Johnson scored on layups on back-to-back possessions to cut Chicago's lead to nine with 3:51 to play. Was another rally in the offing?
Not this time. Kyle Korver's 3-pointer with 3:01 to play put Chicago up 105-92 and the Blazers weren't able to get closer than 12 points after that.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 33 points for Portland (3-1), almost single-handedly keeping the Blazers in the game through three quarters. Aldridge was originally drafted by the Bulls in 2006 but was traded the same day in a deal that sent fellow draftee Tyrus Thomas to Chicago.
Brandon Roy added 17 points for the Blazers on 4-of-12 shooting.
Deng scored 16 points in the first quarter, much of it coming in transition, where Bulls outscored the Trail Blazers 12-0 and built a 32-21 lead. The Blazers entered the game as the NBA's top three-point shooting team, but went 0-for-3 from there in the opening period and 0-of-14 in the game.
Chicago's Joakim Noah, who entered the game as the NBA's top rebounder in the season's early going, had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 42 minutes.
Chicago 110, Portland 98
Sacramento 111, Toronto 108
San Antonio 97, L.A. Clippers 88