It was another match up for the Chicago Bulls against a team that was under .500 and even though the Bulls lost to the Orlando Magic 98-91 the last time these two teams met on March 8th. This win was never really in doubt as the Bulls coasted to a 47 point 122-75 victory.
Aaron Gordon hit the first basket of the game to give Orlando a 2-0 lead and that was pretty much the bright side for the Magic. Believe it or not Orlando never led in the game again. The Bulls scored 12 straight points and 18 of the games next 20 points to take a 18-4 lead with 6:05 left in the quarter. The Magic managed just 13 points in the 1st quarter as the Bulls built what turned out to be an insurmountable 21 point lead 34-13 after just one quarter.
While Orlando did have a better offensive 2nd quarter scoring 24 points they where unable to match the Bulls who put up 30 points in the quarter. Orlando only managed to cut the Bulls lead to under 20 points one time in the 2nd quarter and it was very early on in the quarter. The Bulls where able to add six points to their lead as they went into halftime with a 64-37 advantage.
The 3rd quarter was another solid if not spectacular offensive output for the Magic. Orlando scored 22 points in the 3rd quarter and while that’s a decent number they Bulls scored 28 points to build on their lead. This was the only quarter in the game where the Bulls didn’t reach 30 points. Not a whole lot of drama left as the Bulls where able to push their lead up over 30 points. By the end of the 3rd quarter the Bulls had a 33 point lead 92-59.
The Magic didn’t do themselves any favors in the 4th quarter as their offense struggled again managing to score just 16 points. The big question for the Bulls would be if they would give their starters the quarter off and try to get them some rest. Chicago is tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but a lead like this gives them the chance to get their starters a quarter of rest before the final game of the regular season. While Dwayne Wade did play early in the quarter the rest of the Bulls starters where on the bench. Even with the starters sitting the Bulls added 14 points to their lead and easily cruised to a 122-75 win.
Robin Lopez was the games high scorer with 18 points. Lopez also led the Bulls in rebounding with 8. Jimmy Butler and Jerian Grant each had 17 points while Grant also handed out a game high 11 assists. Nikola Mirotic scored 16 points while Dwayne Wade added 13 points as all of the Bulls starters score in double figures. Off the Bulls bench Bobby Portis added 10 points.
Believe it or not the 75 points scored by the Magic wasn’t their lowest offensive output this season. Back in November they scored 69 points in a game against the Indiana Pacers.Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier each had 14 points to lead the Magic. Vucevic also grabbed a game high 10 rebounds. Elfrid Payton scored 11 points and handed out a team high 4 assists while Aaron Gordon added 10 points.
Chicago improves to 40-41 with the win. If the Bulls win their final regular season game Wednesday night at home against the 20-61 Brooklyn Nets they’ll be a playoff team. It looks as though the Bulls would be the 8th seed, but there is a chance they could move up to the 7th spot. Don’t forget that the Nets just beat the Bulls (107-106) in there last meeting on Saturday night. Orlando falls to 28-53 with the loss. The Magic will also wrap up their regular season on Wednesday night as they host the 37-44 Detroit Pistons.