It wasn’t pretty, but the Chicago Bulls got the job done and defeated the Orlando Magic on Monday night, 102-98. The win extended the Bulls’ winning streak to eight, their longest since March 2012.
DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls again with 29 points but needed 24 shots to do so. Zach LaVine added 27 while Coby White scored 17 points off the bench. Nikola Vucevic put up yet another double-double with 13 points and 17 rebounds.
Franz Wagner led the Magic with 22 points. Former Bull Wendell Carter Jr. went for a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Overall Sloppy Performance
The Magic showed why games are not played on paper. Orlando came into the game with one of the worst records in the NBA (7-30) and missing several key players due to injuries and health and safety protocols. But, they gave the Bulls all they could handle and kept it close throughout.
Chicago shot poorly in the first quarter, making just five of their 21 shot attempts (24%), and did not get on the board until the 8:46 mark. The Magic shot poorly early on as well but took a six-point lead into the second quarter.
The shooting improved as the Bulls shot over 50% from the field, including from beyond the arc, as they used a 10-2 run to take the lead midway through the second quarter.
But, the Bulls could not break away from Orlando as the Magic kept within eight points and went into halftime down only five points.
A Win is a Win
Zach LaVine and Coby White were key in keeping the Bulls afloat in the second half. LaVine scored 11 of his 27 points in the third quarter while White added 10 points in the fourth quarter alone.
However, sloppy play by Chicago allowed the Magic to stick around. Both DeRozan and LaVine made multiple uncharacteristic turnovers as the Bulls’ main men combined for six turnovers and just two assists.
DeRozan, an 80+% free-throw shooter on the season, went just 7-13 from the charity stripe, missing some key free-throws down the stretch. The Bulls were helped by an RJ Hampton Flagrant 1 foul, which allowed DeRozan to close the game from the free-throw line.
The win gives Chicago a 25-10 record and a two-game cushion atop the Eastern Conference.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Bulls host the Washington Wizards (19-18), who they defeated just a few days ago, on Friday night. Tip-off is at 7:00 PM CST.
Be sure to check out the Bulls On Tap podcast for further postgame reaction as well as Chicago basketball analysis and commentary all season.
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