Roy clutch as Blazers hold off Chicago


After Portland held off Chicago, Martell Webster teased teammate Brandon Roy, poking him with a tape recorder and getting right in his mug before giggling.

Nothing like a win to bring out the pranksters, but Roy tried to keep it in perspective.

"You can sense that guys are getting ready for the All-Star break and some rest, but we've got to fight through," Roy said.

Roy scored 28 points and LaMarcus Aldridge 18 points for the Blazers, who led Chicago by as many as 13 points in the second half.

Chicago threatened in the final minutes. Ben Wallace's dunk with 2:01 left narrowed it to 91-88, but Travis Outlaw kept the Blazers out in front with a pair of free throws.

After Tyrus Thomas' hook shot closed the gap again for Chicago with 1:14 left, Outlaw answered with his own hook shot to make it 95-90 with 26.9 seconds to go.

Thabo Sefolosha, who had a career-high 22 points, made a layup for the Bulls to pull close again.

After Jarrett Jack made just one of two free throws for the Blazers, Chris Duhon hit a baseline jumper to make it 96-94 with 7.2 seconds left. Jack then went back to the free-throw line, this time making both shots.

Andres Nocioni's 3-pointer closed it to 98-97 with 0.8 seconds left, but officials had to rule whether Duhon's foul on Roy came before the buzzer.

The officials added 0.5 seconds to the clock, Roy went to the foul line and made both of his shots for the final margin.

Nocioni also had 22 points for the Bulls.

Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich wasn't in the lineup because of bruised ribs. Hinrich, averaging 13 points, six assists and 3.5 rebounds, was injured in Chicago's 118-108 victory at Seattle on Monday. Duhon started in his place.

Ben Gordon also didn't play because of a sprained right wrist. The guard had 20 points against the SuperSonics and was averaging 20 points, but has struggled of late with his wrist.

"I knew our guys would give a great effort tonight being short-handed," Bulls interim coach Jim Boylan said. "We came up short, but we had our chances down the stretch."

Thomas returned after missing the game against the SuperSonics with a sprained left foot.

Portland coach Nate McMillan shook up his starting lineup, going with Jack as shooting guard and Roy at small forward. The change wasn't because of poor play, but because the Blazers have been forced to reshuffle their rotation with the absence of 3-point shooter James Jones, who's out until after the All-Star game to rest a sore left knee.

The Blazers, who had a 13-game winning streak in December but cooled off considerably in January, next head out on a four-game road trip starting at Detroit on Friday night.

"It's a good feeling to come out of here with the win, especially when you're getting ready to go out on the road for a week," Webster said.

And Roy got Webster back for the microphone-in-the-face routine.

"We've just got to stay focused. Right now, Martell is having a hard time getting focused. Hopefully he'll be ready tomorrow," Roy said jokingly.

Joakim Noah's dunk late in the first quarter tied it at 21 before the Blazers began to pull away. Portland answered with a 14-3 run to lead 35-23.

Aldridge's dunk made it 41-29, and the Blazers went on to lead 49-43 at the half.

The Bulls gained ground in the second half, closing within 66-62 on Nocioni's 3-pointer. But Roy came back with an off-balance, falling-down jumper, and Webster followed with a dunk to make it 70-62.

"I think we did pretty good and we played hard and we played with heart," Sefolosha said. "I don't really see what we could have done different."

Notes: The Bulls have won five of their last seven against Portland, but the Trail Blazers won the last meeting in overtime 115-109 in Chicago. ... Chicago remained without forward Luol Deng because of left Achilles' tendinitis. ... Portland was coming off a 105-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

... The Blazers went 8-6 in January after going 13-2 in December.

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