Finally, Jackson's prediction comes true, as Blazers unravel Bulls take advantage of Portland mistakes Notes

June 14, 1992|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Phil Jackson had to wait through the first four games of the NBA Finals for his scouting report to prove valid, but the Trail Blazers finally self-destructed, as the Chicago Bulls coach had predicted, in Game 5 on Friday night in Portland, Ore.

Said Blazers guard Danny Ainge after his team's disastrous start in its 119-106 loss: "We're getting killed coming out of the locker room. I don't know what the numbers were, but the Bulls' points off turnovers in the first quarter had to be a huge advantage."

Ainge was right. Ten of the Bulls' first 12 points, and 15 of their first 21, came off Blazers mistakes. At the end of the first quarter, Chicago had scored 17 points off turnovers, grabbed a 39-26 lead and never was headed.

"We just made some casual passes," Blazers playmaker Terry Porter said. "Our turnovers led to the Bulls getting easy baskets and dunks on the other end of the floor."

Asked why his team appeared so unfocused in such a big game, Blazers coach Rick Adelman shook his head.

"I wish I knew the answer," he said. "We talked about getting off quickly all day before the game. But the Bulls have done just an excellent job of coming out aggressively in every game."

* The feud between Blazers power forward Buck Williams anreferee Jake O'Donnell resurfaced in Game 5, when Williams was tagged with a technical on the Blazers' sixth possession.

usual, Jake was chewing in my ear," said Williams, who was also assessed a technical by O'Donnell in Game 1 in Chicago. "I asked him to stop talking to me, and he called the technical. It's really sad that he's allowed to do that, but that's Jake.

"Until Rod Thorn [NBA vice president of operations] puts him down, he's going to keep doing it because that's the type person he is."

Williams, who says his troubles with O'Donnell date to his days with the New Jersey Nets, said he felt he had patched his differences with the referee until this championship series began June 3.

Asked for a post-game comment, O'Donnell snapped at a reporter, "Why don't you get lost!"

* The Bulls needed 2 hours, 43 minutes to win Friday night's marathon with the Blazers that was marred by 67 personal fouls and 89 free throws.

"I'm suffering from a case of amnesia," Jackson said. "It was the longest game I've ever participated in. It just seemed to go on and on."

* The Blazers, who lost two of three at home to the Bulls, face an almost insurmountable task to win the title.

No team has come back from a 3-2 deficit in the finals by winning the last two games on the road. And the Bulls have not lost consecutive home games since April 5 and 7, 1991.

* Michael Jordan defended his right to play golf between gameof the finals. He got in 64 holes during his stay in Portland.

"Yes, I played on my off days," he said. "It's my way to relax, but it doesn't affect the way I play basketball. And if we got back to Chicago by 9 this [Saturday] morning, I'd play another round of golf."

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