NBA Game Summary - Chicago at Orlando
(Wednesday, March 11th)
Final Score: Orlando 107, Chicago 79
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Tony Battie finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, as the Orlando Magic clinched a playoff spot with a 107-79 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Orlando became the third Eastern Conference team to clinch a playoff berth, as Boston and Cleveland have already locked up spots. The Magic improved to 47-17 with the win, and lead the Southeast Conference by 10 1/2 games over second- place Atlanta.
Six Orlando players finished in double-figure scoring, including Marcin Gortat, who ended with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Dwight Howard added 15 points and nine boards, while Courtney Lee had 14 points and J.J. Redick 13. Rafer Alston provided 10 points and six assists for the Magic, who rebounded from a loss Monday to Detroit.
"I think I was more focused, and I was trying to go harder at the ball," Gortat said. "I think I just came into the game better. The guys hit me pretty well, after you hit the first score, later everything is real easy."
John Salmons had 18 points and eight rebounds to pace Chicago, which has lost two in a row. Brad Miller added 11 points in the Bulls' loss.
"We just didn't make a lot of shots," Miller said. "Our guys were missing layups and the ball just wasn't falling."
Orlando began the game with six consecutive points, as the Bulls didn't score for nearly the first four minutes. The Magic continued to lead, and went up by double digits with a nine-point burst later in the quarter. Gortat had three baskets during the stretch, which Redick ended with a three-pointer for a 24-11 lead.
The Magic took a 26-13 lead into the second quarter, though Chicago went on a 10-0 run to stay close. Joakim Noah had four points, and Salmons finished it with a jumper to get Chicago within 28-25 nearly three minutes into the new frame.
But Orlando countered with a 13-2 run to take control. Battie had eight points, including a jumper to cap it that put the Magic up 41-27, and they led 48-36 at halftime.
Six consecutive points shortly into the third quarter stretched the Orlando lead to 64-43. The Magic didn't slow down from there, scoring the final 11 points of the quarter to take an 85-53 advantage into the fourth, and they cruised in the final quarter to seal the win.
Orlando played without forward Hedo Turkoglu, who sat out with a sore Achilles tendon...Chicago shot 31.4 percent, including 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from three-point range...Orlando made 47.6 percent of its shots, but only nine of 27 attempts from beyond the arc...The Magic held a 53-44 rebounding edge.
03/12 02:17:14 ET