FINAL FROM ORLANDO: Orlando 103, Bulls 95 (Bulls: 12-20, 6-10 on the road)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 26 pts. Orlando: Ross: 26 points
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter: 10. Orlando: Gordon: 11.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6. Orlando: Augustin and Isaac each with 5.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: The Bulls did not attempt a free throw in the fourth quarter.
RECAP: The Magic spoiled an opportunity for the Bulls to extend their win streak to three games holding the Bulls to 14 fourth-quarter points. Terrence Ross was a major factor enabling Orlando to end a three-game slide as he drilled six three-point field goals, tying Zach LaVine with a game-high 26 points. Tomas Satoransky continues his solid play posting a line of 20-6-3. He has scored 15+ points in three straight games for the first time in his career. Kris Dunn continues to make his case for all NBA Defensive Team collecting three steals.
The Bulls will enjoy a long break until Saturday when they host Atlanta in the first of four straight games at the United Center.
BULLS INJURY UPDATE: Max Strus sustained a torn ACL and bone bruise to his left knee on Dec. 21 in the Windy City Bulls game against the Lakeland Magic at the G League Winter Showcase. The diagnosis was confirmed today by an MRI and a physical exam. Strus will undergo surgery in approximately three weeks after his swelling and discomfort resolves, and he is expected to be out for eight-to-12 months.
24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Indiana 120, Toronto 115 OT: Aaron Holiday with some "onions" tossing in two - three pointers in the extra period. Indiana's Malcolm Brogdon missed the game with a hamstring issue. The loss snapped Toronto's five-game win streak.
Cleveland 121, Atlanta 118: Collin Sexton and Darius Garland combined for 46 points. The Hawks have lost eight straight. Atlanta is 6-25 posting the worst record in the NBA. The Cavs have won three straight. Atlanta's John Collins returned after serving a 25 game suspension for violating the NBA/NBAPA drug policy scoring 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Philadelphia 125, Detroit 109: Ben Simmons came through with a triple-double including a career-high 17 rebounds. Blake Griffin went 2-14 from the field. The Pistons have lost five straight.
Miami 107, Utah 104: The Heat improved to 13-1 at home. The Jazz five-game win streak is history. Utah's Rudy Gobert continues to ball: 18 points and 19 rebounds. Miami goes to 22-8.
Denver 113, Phoenix 111: I still maintain Nikola Jokic doesn't get enough respect for his game in-game out performances. He recorded his seventh triple-double of the season as the streaking Nuggets won their seventh straight. The fading Suns lost their seventh straight.
Golden State 113, Minnesota 104: Make it 11 straight losses for the T-Wolves. Golden State has won two straight and picked up its seventh win of the season.
San Antonio 145, Memphis 115: LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 40 points. The Spurs shot 67% from the field.
Washington 121, New York 115: The Knicks suffered a painful home loss to a Wizards team missing 6 of their top 8 scorers. The Wizards dressed only nine players. Bradley Beal scored 30 points. The Knicks have lost three straight.
Houston 113, Sacramento 104: The Rockets have won seven straight road games. Houston won despite shooting 3-17 from the field in the fourth quarter. The Kings have lost four straight.
New Orleans 102, Portland 94: Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum went a combined 2-20 from three-point range.
The Cavs sent veteran guard Jordan Clarkson to Utah for guard Dante Exum. The Cavs also acquired two second-round picks. Meantime the Jazz waived veteran forward Jeff Green.
Always a pleasure.