NBA roundup: Blazers sweep series with Bulls
CHICAGO — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points, Damian Lillard added 24 and the Portland Trail Blazers completed a season sweep of the Chicago Bulls with a 99-89 victory Thursday night.
Portland improved to 10-25 on the road to take the season series with the Bulls for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The Blazers beat Chicago, 102-94, Nov. 18 in their other meeting this season.
Joakim Noah had 18 points, and Carlos Boozer added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago, which shot 44 percent.
J.J. Hickson grabbed 21 rebounds for Portland, which held a 45-41 rebounding advantage.
Chicago led, 21-20, after the first quarter, but Portland scored the first 14 points of the second quarter and outscored the Bulls, 32-16, in the period to take a 52-37 lead at halftime. Aldridge led Portland with 16 points at the break, and Lillard had 13.
Portland extended its lead to 28 in the third quarter before the Bulls made a late charge, outscoring the Trail Blazers, 36-19, in the final quarter. Jimmy Butler scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to help Chicago get within 10 points with under 34 seconds left.
The injury-plagued Bulls got Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson back. Hinrich started at point guard after missing seven games with a sore right foot. Gibson, a reserve, also returned after missing 10 games with a sprained MCL in his left knee.
Hinrich struggled, shooting 1 of 7 from the field for two points.
Nuggets 101, Sixers 100 — In Denver, Corey Brewer sank three free throws with 2.1 seconds left, and the Nuggets stretched their franchise-best winning streak to 14 games with a thriller over the 76ers.
Anthony Randolph blocked Damien Wilkins' desperation jumper at the buzzer to secure Denver's 16th straight win at the Pepsi Center.
Brewer finished with 29 points.
Wilkins had 24 points, and Jrue Holliday had 18 points and 15 assists for the Sixers.
Brewer scored the Nuggets' last six points.