Studs: Luol Deng had a team-high 17 points to go along with 9 rebounds, and Joakim Noah notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. The Bulls also got good point guard play, as starter Derrick Rose posted 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, and reserve Kirk Hinrich added 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Tim Duncan did nearly everything for the Spurs, tallying game-highs in points and rebounds, with 28 and 16, respectively.
Duds: Richard Jefferson continued to struggle with his new team, shooting just 3-of-9 from the field and 3-of-6 from the line, on his way to 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. Jannero Pargo went 0-for-3 and rookie Taj Gibson was just 1-for-6 for Chicago.
Game Notes: Chicago got off to a good start, with what has to be considered an upset over the Spurs. Chicago played a conservative style of basketball, totaling only 6 fast break points, but committing only 9 turnovers in the win… Rounded to the nearest percentage, both teams shot 42% from the field and 19% from the 3-point line. Each squad was also below 70% from the free throw line.
Denver 97, Portland 94
Studs: Carmelo Anthony exploded for 41 points, including 19 in a furious fourth quarter comeback, and Chauncey Billups overcame a poor shooting night to add 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists. Brandon Roy led Portland with 30 points, and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while super sub Rudy Fernandez made 6-of-9 field goals, on his way to 22 points in just 23 minutes.
Duds: Greg Oden scored just 6 points, after putting up only 2 on Wednesday. He had 9 rebounds, and blocked 2 shots, but picked up 5 fouls in just 22 minutes and missed 2 free throws that would have given Portland the lead with a mere 4.6 seconds left.
Game Notes: Portland shot 80.5% from the line for the game, but missed 3 (2 by Oden and 1 by LaMarcus Aldridge) monumental attempts in the waning moments… The game featured just 15 turnovers (8 by Denver and 7 by Portland), 12 fast break points (9 by Denver and 3 by Portland), and 52 points in the paint (28 by Denver and 24 by Portland).