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Hot-shooting Deng leads Bulls past Trail Blazers

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Luol Deng registered a career-high 40 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to 110-98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.

Deng led the way with 16 points in the first quarter to give his team a 32-21 advantage and the Bulls (2-1) kicked on from there to pick up a second straight win.

Point guard Derrick Rose, who had carried the team with 67 points over the first two games, chipped in with 16 points and 13 assists as Chicago blazed to 60 percent shooting from the field.

"Derrick was terrific," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters. "He got a fast pace to the game. He got us easy opportunities. He's reading what's happening. They trapped him more and he made the right play."

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a team-high 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Blazers (3-1), who suffered their first defeat of the new season.

Portland was looking for its first 4-0 start to the season since the 1999-2000 campaign but were never in contention to match that feat thanks to the hot-shooting Deng.

The Chicago forward made 14-of-19 shots from the field to eclipse his previous career high of 38 points, also scored against the Blazers in 2007.

"He got 40 points, but it wasn't off isolations," Bulls forward Kyle Korver said. "It wasn't like we were standing around watching Lu. That's pretty special. And that keeps everybody in the game."

Portland pulled within 56-47 at halftime but could get no closer in the second half. Leading scorer Brandon Roy struggled to 17 points on just 4-for-12 shooting.

Chicago center Joakim Noah, off to a strong start after signing a new contract with the team in the off-season, recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

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