The Orlando Magic are returning to Amway Arena after struggling on a western road trip, but a game there may not necessarily help end their slump.
Playing their first home game in more than a week, the Magic look to end their struggles in Orlando when they face the lowly Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
Orlando (23-16) has an NBA-best 16 wins on the road this season, but is coming off a 1-3 trip. The Magic gave up at least 100 points in each of those four games, including a 119-115 loss to Utah on Saturday night.
"We've got to play harder," said Orlando center Dwight Howard, who had 29 points against the Jazz. "We need to play hard after our losses and not give up."
The Magic have a good opportunity to bounce back when they face the Bulls (14-21), but they have lost two straight and six of eight at home since winning five of their first seven there this season. Orlando, which will be playing its first game at Amway Arena since a 96-94 loss to Houston on Jan. 4, also has dropped six of its last seven home games versus Chicago.
The Magic, though, beat the Bulls 112-110 in overtime on the road Dec. 31. That was the last game of a four-game winning streak for Orlando, marking the last time it had any consistent success.
Orlando forward Hedo Turkoglu hit a fadeaway jumper with seven-tenths of a second left in overtime to secure the win over Chicago. He finished with 17 points against the Bulls, but was held to just 10 on 4-of-10 shooting in Saturday's game. Turkoglu is second on the Magic with 19.0 points a contest.
Howard also had an outstanding game against the Bulls, finishing with 17 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks. He's averaging 20.8 points and 15.4 rebounds while shooting 59.3 percent from the field in his last five games versus Chicago.
The Bulls, meanwhile, were short-handed in the frontcourt in a 105-84 loss to Atlanta on Sunday. Rookie Joakim Noah was benched for the game after a unanimous vote by Bulls players.
Noah had a confrontation with assistant coach Ron Adams in practice before a win over Philadelphia on Friday night. He was inactive for that game for what the team called internal discipline, and the players told interim coach Jim Boylan after Friday's game they thought one game was not enough.
Boylan said Noah has been involved in "a couple of situations where he's been late or not doing what the Chicago Bulls do."
"So the cumulative aspect of this is definitely part of the reasoning for the players doing what they did," said Boylan, who is 5-4 since being promoted to head coach on Dec. 27 after Scott Skiles was fired.
Noah, the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft, is averaging 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. It's uncertain how much time he will miss.
Chicago, though, got Luol Deng back Sunday after he missed three straight games with a sore Achilles' tendon. The fourth-year forward, averaging 18.3 points per game, had 28 against the Hawks.
"At the beginning of the game I was a little tight and wasn't able to get the normal lift that I usually get, but as the game went on it got better," Deng said.
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