Recap: Orlando Magic 83 – Chicago Bulls 82
After not scoring for the first four minutes of the game and staring at an early 6-0 deficit, the Orlando Magic came out blazing after a quick Jacque Vaughn timeout. Post timeout, Orlando went on an immediate 15-0 run over the next four minutes they would control this game from (mostly) start to finish for an 83-82 road victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Arron Afflalo led the Magic in scoring with 23 points, while Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis had 14 a piece. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 26.
The Magic clung to a seven-plus point lead for the majority of the night, but it never felt as if the Bulls were threatening to make a push. When they finally made that push late in the game, the Magic were able to get a key stop to seal the game. Up by six with 1:28 remaining, a D.J. Augustin three-pointer cut the lead to three. After two Magic missed shots, a Joakim Noah driving layup and Arron Afflalo going 1-2 from the free throw line, the Magic led by just two with six seconds remaining – Bulls ball.
Tom Thibodeau drew up another great play out of a timeout that sent a slashing Luol Deng to the lane off a beautiful bounce pass from Noah. With Deng rising and looking to have the tieing layup in sight, he somehow rushed his attempt and missed it. Orlando secured the rebound, made their final free throws, and escaped with a victory.
For the Magic, the game also ended a tough stretch where they played eight of the last nine on the road. The team went just 2-7 in that span and now hold an overall record of 8-17 – which would secure them the 6th overall pick.
- Tobias Harris played in just his 4th game this year and is really struggling to regain his rhythm and role on the team. When he came over last year, the team was ravaged by injuries and he had the ultimate green light to attack. With Jameer Nelson, Oladipo, Afflalo and Big Baby all healthy and often sharing the floor with him, Harris has to find his spots to attack and figure out he fits best. In 20 minutes Monday night, Tobias had 5 points on 1-7 shooting and 7 rebounds.
- Moe Harkless was once again the first man off the bench after getting a DNP-CD two games ago. While his offense is still completely absent (2 points on 1-3 shooting in 15 minutes), his effort and intensity has been up in both of the last contests. If he wants to stay on the floor, that’s the way he will earn his minutes.
- The Bulls, already without Derrick Rose for the year, were without the services of Kirk Hinrich on the night. Marquis Teague got the start with newly signed D.J. Augustin backing him up. That folks, is a recipe for a Jameer Nelson attacking night – and he did just that. Jameer carved up the ragtag Chicago backcourt 14 points and 7 assists and seemed to be getting to the paint at will.
- Bulls starters not named Luol Deng, combined to score 23 points on the night.
- Victor Oladipo had a large contingent of IU fans in the building to cheer him on (which seems to happen every where the team goes), but he struggled offensively. He shot just 3-12 from the field for 8 points, though he did have 5 assists and played aggressive as always on the defensive end.
The Magic are set to begin a six-game home stand that will keep the team in Orlando through the end of the year. The home stand starts on Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz.