Notebook: Bulls 87, Magic 86

Posted Apr 5, 2013 11:23 PM

Kent McDill, for

THE FACTS: Nate Robinson and Luol Deng each scored 19 points, with Robinson getting 12 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Bulls to an oddly intense 87-86 win over the Orlando Magic Friday in Chicago. Robinson's final basket with 3:50 left gave the Bulls an 87-78 lead but the Magic came back just to fall one point short. Beno Udrih had a season-high 27 points for the Magic, who lost for the 12th time in their last 13 games.

THE FACTS II: The Bulls played again without five key members of their lineup -- Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Rip Hamilton and Marco Belinelli. The Magic played again without Jameer Nelson to his ankle injury.

QUOTABLE I: "I think his shots put us over the top."
-- Bulls center Nazr Mohammed on the play of guard Nate Robinson.

THE STAT: Bulls forward Carlos Boozer had an off night, considering he had been averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds in his last eight games. He had 12 points and nine rebounds but he also had six turnovers.

THE STAT II: Nikola Vucevic had 15 rebounds to go with his 16 points and Tobias Harris had 11 boards to go with 12 points as the Magic outrebounded the Bulls 45-37.

THE STAT III: There was some great free throw shooting Friday. The Magic made 14 of 17 freebies while the Bulls made 13 of 14 from the line.

TURNING POINT: There were three of them, all within the final 3:50. The Bulls went on an 8-0 run to take the 87-78 lead on Robinson's final score, but the Magic scored eight straight to get to within one, and had the ball to take the lead with 23 seconds left. But Udrih fell down in a crowd on a drive to the basket with eight seconds left and the Bulls ran out the clock.

INJURY UPDATE: Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game that Noah (plantar fasciitis) and Belinelli (abdominal strain) are close to returning to active duty.

HOT: Udrih was 10 for 17 from the floor, and had 16 points in the third quarter.

NOT: Deng was five for 18 from the field but had seven free throws for his 19 points.

QUOTABLE II: "The Bulls made a great strategic move putting (Jimmy) Butler on Beno (Udrih). He had 27 at the end of three (quarters) and I think the same at the end of the game."
-- Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn.

BAD MOVE: Maybe not a bad move, but Orlando coach Vaughn called on Udrih to attempt the last shot while Vucevic was just as hot as Udrih. The Bulls were not going to let Udrih get to the basket without congestion, and Vucevic was clear to take one of his outside jumpers, as he was all night.

ROOKIE WATCH: With Orlando, the Rookie Watch is the most important part. Starters Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson offered six points between them in 33 minutes played. DeQuan Jones had 10 points in 36 minutes, Doron Lamb had three points in 28 minutes and Kyle O'Quinn offered eight points in just under eight minutes.

NOTABLE: Despite having five guys out, Bulls coach Thibodeau played only seven players, and did not use rookie point guard Marquis Teague or veteran guard Daequan Cook... the victory moved the Bulls to within one game of Brooklyn for the fourth playoff spot in the East.. Meanwhile, the loss kept Orlando one-half game out of the No. 1 spot in the NBA draft lottery...

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, @ Detroit Sunday, vs. Toronto Tuesday, vs. New York Thursday. For the Magic, @ Cleveland Sunday, vs. Milwaukee Wednesday, vs. Boston Saturday.