With nine games left in the regular season, the Bulls, who have won six of their last eight games and are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings, received 23 points and 15 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic. Shaedon Sharpe, a rookie, led Portland, which has dropped seven of its previous eight games, scoring 24 points, tying a career best. In the most recent run, the Blazers only managed to defeat the Utah Jazz 127-115 on Wednesday. In the Western Conference standings, Portland was ranked 13th, far from a playoff spot.
Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, Jerami Grant, and Anfernee Simons—all regular Portland starters—did not participate in the game against the Bulls. Instead, Ryan Arcidiacono, Matisse Thybulle, Trendon Watford, Drew Eubanks, and Sharpe were the starters for the Blazers. DeMar DeRozan was not playing for the Bulls due to a persistent right quadriceps ailment.