Bulls beat Magic, 112-94
Chicago improves to 11-21 on the regular season
The Bulls Tuesday in perhaps their most effective and dominating performance in what is now a seven-game winning streak quickly made the Orlando Magic disappear in a 112-94 victory.
The Bulls never trailed after a 12-0 start and had double digit leads in every quarter with both teams emptying their benches midway through the fourth quarter.
The Bulls now are 10-20 as they play in Cleveland Thursday and Boston Saturday. Orlando is 11-21.
The Bulls had six players score in double figures led by Denzel Valentine with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Kris Dunn had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Nikola Mirotic followed with another double/double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Bobby Portis had 14 points, Jerian Grant 13 and Robin Lopez 10.
The Bulls had a season high 31 assists and were dominant on the boards with a 51-35 edge. The Bulls had 54 points off the bench.
The Magic was without injured regulars Evan Fornier, Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross. Wes Iwundu and Mario Hezonja were among the Orlando starters. Zach LaVine remained out for the Bulls, but was scheduled to travel with the team to Cleveland and Boston for further practices. Paul Zipser with back soreness played. The six-game winning streak entering the game equaled the longest for the Bulls under coach Fred Hoiberg. The Bulls broke away fast to open the game with Valentine’s shooting off penetration from Dunn. The Bulls scored the first 12 points and led 21-10 before Orlando hit the Bulls with a late 12-2 run to draw within 25-24 with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. But from there the Bulls took off again with an 18-3 run, every time the Magic closing in the Bulls making Orlando disappear. The Bulls led 31-24 after the first quarter on 52 percent shooting with eight assists on 12 baskets. That run which extended into the second quarter was propelled by the shooting of Portis and Grant with David Nwaba again energizing the once again effective second unit. The Bulls spaced out to a 49-34 lead, Orlando closed within 49-40, and then Holiday found the range as the Bulls led 59-48 at half.
The Bulls opened the third quarter sharply to a 67-52 lead, sending Orlando into the first timeout for the third consecutive quarter, a favorite request of his team by Hoiberg. The Bulls extended that out to 77-55 midway through the third quarter on a Dunn short jumper. Though more typical was the sequence with Dunn getting Lopez an open shot with a behind the back pass on his drive. When Lopez missed, Dunn got the offensive rebound and scored. And then it got better for the Bulls with a possession that brought fans out their seats with a turnover. Dunn took off and challenged in transition turned and threw a 40 foot pass over his shoulder to Valentine ahead, who drove and then looking away threw to Mirotic on the run for the layup. The Bulls led 90-66 after three quarters. The Bulls continued to pour on the points to open the fourth quarter behind Portis and Mirotic for a 102-74 lead midway through the quarter.
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