The Orlando Magic didn’t play badly. They just didn’t play as well as the Chicago Bulls, dropping their first game of the season in their first road contest of the year. The Bulls had five players in double figures and seven players with at least seven points and pulled away in the fourth quarter to earn a 99-93 win over the Magic on Tuesday night at the United Center.
“The Bulls did a good job of getting us out of our stuff,” Magic forward Glen Davis said. “You have to give them credit. They're a great defensive team.”
Luol Deng finished with 23 points and eight rebounds for Chicago (3-1), which also got 20 points and nine rebounds from Joakim Noah and 12 points and eight rebounds from Carlos Boozer. Taj Gibson (12) and Nate Robinson (11) also reached double digits in points.
For the Magic (2-1), Arron Afflalo stuffed the stat sheet with 28 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while E’Twaun Moore totaled 17 points. The visitors also received double-doubles from Davis and Nikola Vucevic, each of whom notched 16 points and 10 rebounds, while J.J. Redick had 10 points and seven assists.
The Bulls had a 34-30 advantage on points in the paint and outshot Orlando 47.6% to 41.9%. The Magic still made 8 of 19 3-pointers to finish 42.1% from behind the arc. Ultimately, they were simply outplayed in the second half.
“Our lull offensively gave them an opportunity to hit some shots in the fourth quarter," Afflalo said. "It's unfortunate, because it was a game I thought we could have won.”
After outscoring the Bulls 24-23 and 24-22 in the initial two quarters, the Magic were outscored 23-22 in the third period and 31-23 in the fourth.
“We can't play one-on-one basketball,” Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said. “When we shared the basketball we got good looks. But when we turn it into a one-on-one contest, we're not going to get good looks.”
Orlando returns to action tonight in Minnesota. The game will begin at 8:00 pm on FS Florida.
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