The last time the Bulls faced the Trail Blazers, Derrick Rose tore his right medial meniscus on Nov. 22 and surgery ended his season three days later.
While not nearly as season-altering an event, the Bulls’ Friday night at the United Center didn’t fare much better.
And, no, coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t want to hear anything about rust after a three-day layoff from Monday’s impressive victory over the Pacers.
The Bulls shot just 39.3 percent and allowed Portland to sink 10-of-22 3-pointers for 45.5 percent, trailing by as many as 24.
Mo Williams’ 18 points off the bench led six Trail Blazers in double figures, and Portland prevailed easily despite leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge managing just five points on 2-for-10 shooting.
Carlos Boozer’s 16 points and 12 rebounds in just 24 minutes led the Bulls, who trailed by 11 at halftime and then surrendered a 15-2 run to open the second half. Nicolas Batum dropped in two 3-pointers during that run.
The Bulls barely avoided their season-low of 70 points.