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Bulls fall to Magic in Rose's return

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By Sam Smith | 4.08.2015 | 8:33 p.m. CT

The Orlando Magic came from behind in the fourth quarter for a 105-103 victory over the Bulls.

After the Bulls tied the score at 103 with 6.5 seconds left on two Pau Gasol free throws, the Magic got a driving layup by Victor Oladipo for the victory.

Oladipo led the Magic with 23 points and Nikola Vucevic added 22. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 19 points as three Bulls added 15. Derrick Rose in his return from knee surgery had nine points in 19 minutes and sat out the fourth quarter.

The loss dropped the Bulls to fourth place in the Eastern Conference as Toronto has the tiebreaker for the playoffs. The Bulls fell to 46-32. Orlando is 25-53. The Magic led the Bulls in rebounding, second chance points and points in the paint. The Bulls committed 17 turnovers for 26 Orlando points.

The Bulls offense with Rose back looked much smoother and more efficient as the Bulls took a quick lead on the way to a 29-21 first quarter edge on 56 percent shooting. Rose made a three and had five points as five Bulls had at least five points. The Bulls looked like they were going to break it open, taking a 40-25 lead early in the second quarter. But Orlando’s aggression on the boards early in the game, a Bulls issue of late, enabled the Magic to pull within three before the Bulls led 59-52 at halftime. The Magic came back to take lead late in third quarter lead before the Bulls worked their way to the free throw line and another unlikely Aaron Brooks shot to lead 87-79 heading into the fourth quarter.

Observations:

1. Derrick Rose will be the team’s story the last five games in his return from knee surgery. He looked fast and strong, making jump passes and playing with confidence in his return.

2. The Bulls rotation appears to be settling down with Rose’s return with the order off the bench of Taj Gibson, Aaron Brooks, Nikola Mirotic and Kirk Hinrich in that general order.

3. The Bulls again attempted a high number of three-point shots, which generally isn’t their game. They did make nine of 18 in the first half.