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50 Wins! Magic 104, Chicago 84

Fifty is nifty. Here's Mike's recap. - BQR

For the first time since the 1995-'96 season, the Magic have achieved 50 victories in a season, thanks to a 104-84 victory over the Bulls.  The Magic led from start to finish and put the Bulls away in the fourth quarter while leading by as many as 24 points as they outscored Chicago 22-10 in the final period.  The Magic led 36-24 at the end of the first quarter as they shot 11 of 14 (78.6%), including 5 of 7 from 3 pt range.  Chicago cut the Magic lead to 53-48 at the half and trailed 82-74 after three quarters before the Magic put the game away in the final period.

Hedo Turkoglu was the overall star of the game for the Magic, as he scored 24 points with 8 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals.  Dwight Howard was a big factor down low again, scoring 13 first quarter points and finished with 19 points in just three quarters.  Even though he attempted just four field goals, Howard was fouled repeatedly trying to shoot down low and made a very respectable 13 of 17 free throws.

Rashard Lewis added 18 points and 6 rebounds; Maurice Evans 10 points, 6 rebounds.

Some additional game notes:

  • The Magic outshot the Bulls from the field (49.3% to 40%); from 3 point range (40.7% to 35.3%); made 11 more free throws (25-14); outrebounded the Bulls (43-38); and had the better assist/turnover ratio (25/16 to 22/18).
  • Only two Magic starters, Lewis (31 minutes) and Turkoglu (33 minutes), played over 30 minutes.
  • The Magic bench scored 30 points, with Keith Bogans and Keyon Dooling scoring 8 points apiece.
  • Eleven of the twelve Magic players scored, with only J.J. Redick going scoreless.  Redick did grab a rebound to go along with an assist.
  • The Magic starters outscored the Bulls' starters 74-40.  Reserve Andres Nocioni led the Bulls with 22 points,
  • Larry Hughes, who scored 40 points against the Magic back in February when he was with Cleveland, and Ben Gordon, who scored 39 points against the Magic back in December, combined for a mere 7 points on 3 of 10 field goal shooting.

Updating the race for the sixth seed in the East, the Wizards are in fifth at 42-40, with the Raptors and 76ers tied for sixth at 40-40.  Of course, the sixth seed will play the Magic in the first round.