Here's Mike's recap from tonight's Magic/Bulls game. Thanks, Mike! - BQR
Looking to erase the stench of the awful loss to the Knicks Sunday night, the Magic (49-29, 24-15 home) got off to another slow start in this game, as Chicago jumped out to a 18-10 lead, and Magic C Dwight Howard had to sit with two quick fouls. Howard then returned and caught fire in the second quarter, as he scored 16 points in the second as the Magic led at the half 62-49. The Bulls were able to cut into the Magic lead and get within 78-70 with under two minutes remaining in the third quarter, but from that point on, the Magic pulled away quickly and dominated, outscoring the Bulls 37-13 the rest of the way for a 115-83 win.
The focal point of the Magic's offense against Chicago was Dwight Howard. He did an excellent job setting up down low, the Magic players did a great job in getting the ball to him, and Howard was quick and decisive when he got the ball, either shooting that nice little jump-hook off the glass or dunking the ball, as the Bulls had no answer for Howard, who finished with 30 points on 12 of 15 FG shooting along with 14 rebounds.
Carlos Arroyo also was a big spark for the Magic, as he came off the bench and did an excellent job running the offense, and finished with 13 points along with 6 assists. Rashard Lewis scored 21 points, and Hedo Turkoglu, despite an off-shooting night, finished with 8 assists and 6 rebounds to go along with 12 points on 4 of 15 shooting.
Chicago's Kirk Hinrich led them in scoring with 19 points, and F Tyrus Thomas had 5 blocked shots.
Coach Van Gundy cleared the bench with about 4:37 remaining, as the Magic had a 23 point lead. Eleven of the twelve Magic players to play scored. Only Pat Garrity failed to score.
The Magic fans got a chance to cheer for J.J. Redick, as he scored 5 points in those final four minutes, including a 3 point field goal.
Some other game notes:
- The Magic outshot the Bulls from the field (50.6% to 41%), from 3 point range (34.6% to 23.5%), outrebounded the Bulls (53-46), and had a superior assist/turnover ratio (30/15 to 19/19).
- The Magic bench, after scoring just 14 points against the Knicks, scored 37 points.
- The only Magic starter to play more than 35 minutes was Rashard Lewis, who played over 38 minutes. Turkoglu played 33 minutes, and Howard just over 32 minutes.
- The Magic starting frontcourt outscored the Bulls starting frontcourt 63-18.
- Sometimes the +/- stat can be very misleading, but Arroyo wound up with an eye-popping +43, while Chicago's Thabo Sefolosha had a beyond horrible -42.
- Arroyo and Jameer Nelson combined for 22 points and 11 assists.
- 16 of the last 17 Magic wins have been by double digits, with 11 of those wins by 15 points or more.
Ben Q Rock will return for the game recaps as the Magic go for 50 wins Friday night hosting Minnesota.