Notebook: Bulls 102, Magic 84



Posted Apr 15, 2013 11:21 PM

By Dick Scanlon, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Carlos Boozer started at center and scored a game-high 22 points, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 102-84 victory in the Orlando Magic's home finale Monday.

Boozer, Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng led a second-quarter charge that lifted the Bulls (44-37) to a 12-point halftime lead and they coasted in the second half, keeping alive their chances of getting up to fifth in Eastern Conference playoff seeding.

Tobias Harris led the Magic (20-61) with 20 points. Nik Vucevic had 17 points and 14 rebounds.

THE STAT: The Bulls had 33 assists on 42 field goals.

QUOTABLE: "I thought Luol set the tone at the beginning of the game, making a lot of good plays. I thought Kirk ran the team great. Carlos was terrific in the pick-and-roll, setting great screens. But the ball movement . . . We had a lot of people step up and play very effectively."

-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau

TURNING POINT: Boozer and Hinrich scored six points each on a 19-5 run that turned a four-point Bulls deficit into a 10-point lead in the second quarter.

QUOTABLE II: "They just played with an intensity that was at a different level than ours. It just shows how much better we have to get, how much harder we have to play. We've got to learn how tough it is playing against these playoff teams."

-- Magic forward Maurice Harkless

HOT: Deng went 8-for-11 including 2-for-3 on 3-pointers.

NOT: The Magic made only two 3-pointers -- one by Beno Udrih just 28 seconds into the game, the other by Doron Lamb with 4:14 left in the game.

GOOD MOVE: Joakim Noah, who has started 64 games at center for the Bulls, played 14-plus minutes in two shifts after missing four straight games with an injured right foot. Taj Gibson played 21 minutes after missing seven games with a knee injury.

QUOTABLE III: "We are just getting guys back. Obviously we know how much better we can play. We've had moments where we've had our whole team and played amazing this season, and we've had games where we were totally depleted and it was a grind-out. We're happy to get guys back and hopefully we can keep getting healthy."

-- Carlos Boozer

BAD MOVE: The Magic gave up a layup to Marco Belinelli on an inbounds pass in the third quarter, falling behind by 20 points for the first time.

IN THE ARENA: Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters champion, had a front-row seat on Fan Appreciation Night at the Amway Center.

ROOKIE WATCH: Harkless and all four players coming off the bench for the Magic were rookies. They combined for 37 points and 19 rebounds.

NOTABLE: If the Bulls win their season finale Wednesday and Atlanta loses one of its last two games, the Bulls will move up to fifth place . . . The Magic shot a season-high 34 free throws, but still average only 16.5 per game, fewest in NBA history . . . Boozer had a plus-minus of plus-32 in 31 1/2 minutes . . . Unless they win at Miami on Wednesday night, the Magic will finish 20-62, their second-worst record in 24 NBA seasons. Only the expansion team of 1989-90 was worse at 18-64.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Wednesday vs. Washington. For the Magic, Wednesday @ Miami.