NBA Game Summary - Orlando at Chicago
(Friday, April 15th)
Final Score: Chicago 117, Orlando 77
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Andres Nocioni scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Chicago blew out Orlando 117-77 at the United Center.
Chris Duhon tied a career-high with 17 points and Ben Gordon came off the bench to also chip in 17 for the Bulls, who snapped a two-game losing streak and continued to maintain their hold on the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
"We just really played together and didn't slack on this team," said Gordon.
Chicago, which has three games remaining in the regular season, leads Washington by one game for the all-important No. 4 spot that will garner them homecourt advantage in the first round. The Wizards defeated Cleveland earlier on Friday.
Eric Piatkowski added 14 points, Jannero Pargo netted 13 and Tyson Chandler finished with 12 points and 14 boards in the win.
Steve Francis had 16 points and six assists for the hapless Magic, who have dropped six straight games.
The Bulls made 48-of-89 field goals and were 8-of-17 from three-point range, while Orlando connected on just 31-of-91 from the field and made on two of 11 shots from three-point range.
Chicago opened up a 13-3 lead as Nocioni's basket with around nine minutes remaining in the first quarter capped the early run. The Bulls continued to add to their advantage as Antonio Davis' bucket later in the period extended the cushion to 24-9. Chicago eventually led 29-18 after one.
"I was really happy with the way we came out," said Chicago head coach Scott Skiles. "I thought we came out with a purpose. We had our defensive energy."
In the second, the Bulls began the quarter on an 11-2 surge, keyed by four points from Gordon and a three-pointer by Duhon, to stretch the lead to 40-20. Chicago led by as many as 22 points in the half and carried a comfortable 60-41 margin into the locker room.
Duhon netted 15 points for the Bulls, who made 51 percent of their shots in the opening half. Francis had 14 to lead Orlando, which connected on only 16- of-41 attempts.
Chicago continued to pour it on in the second half as it led by as many as 44 points in the final 24 minutes of the romp.
Chicago outscored the Magic 57-36 in the second half...The worst loss in Orlando's history was a 43-point shellacking on November 16, 2002, against Golden State...Chicago learned on Thursday that center Eddy Curry will miss the remainder of the season as he continues to recover from an irregular heartbeat. The Bulls did welcome back Nocioni, though, after the Argentine forward was suspended one game...The Bulls have won eight of their last 11 home games...Chicago swept the three-game season series and accomplished a season-sweep over the Magic for the first time since 1997-98...Orlando forward Pat Garrity left in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.
04/15 23:59:22 ET