NBA Game Summary - Chicago at Orlando
(Tuesday, January 15th)
Final Score: Orlando 102, Chicago 88
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Rashard Lewis drained a game-high 26 points, and the Orlando Magic used a dominant third quarter to cruise past the Chicago Bulls, 102-88.
Dwight Howard notched his league-leading 35th double-double for Orlando, reeling in 11 rebounds to go with 15 points, as the Magic snapped a two-game skid to earn just their second win of 2008. Keith Bogans added 15 points off the bench, while Brian Cook came off the pine to chip in with 14 points, helping Orlando improve to 8-8 as the host. The Magic have won four of their last five meetings with Chicago, including both this season.
Joe Smith drained 13 points for the Bulls, as they have dropped back-to-back contests. Luol Deng contributed 10 points, and Joakim Noah returned to the lineup with a double-double, hauling in 11 boards while scoring 12 points. Noah had missed two games for Chicago due to disciplinary reasons. The Bulls had won six of their last seven trips to Orlando before Tuesday's matchup, which saw them slip to 7-12 on the road.
Out of the break, Lewis picked up right where he left off, leading the Magic as they opened the half on a 16-2 scoring streak that blew the game wide-open. Lewis was good for eight points, and his three-pointer finished the flurry and extended the Orlando lead to 73-54 with 7:08 remaining in the third quarter.
The Magic did not stop there, ripping off a 14-2 run shortly after. Bogans highlighted the burst with seven points, and Hedo Turkoglu connected on a pair from the charity stripe to close the burst. With 1:41 left in the third frame, Orlando was cruising, 88-60.
"We just played with a lot of energy," Howard explained, regarding the third quarter. "Coach (Van Gundy) came into the locker room and got onto us about our energy at home. We need to really pick up the intensity. I think the starters came out (in the second half) with great intensity, so I think we did pretty well."
During the decisive third period, Chicago was held to 10 points on just three field goals.
"Probably the worst third quarter that I've seen since I've been with the Chicago Bulls as a head coach or as an assistant," lamented Chicago head coach Jim Boylan. "We had a lack of effort all the way across the board by just about everybody, and a lack of concentration and focus."
In a fourth quarter played mostly by reserves, the Bulls put up a fight, using a 17-3 streak to climb within a dozen points. Viktor Khryapa had seven points, and it was his jumper with 1:50 to go in the game that capped the run, and Chicago trailed 100-88.
"(It was) a good game for us, our best performance in a long time," exclaimed Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy. "If you take the second and third quarters, I think 19 or 20 of those 24 minutes we played very, very well. Hopefully that will continue."
The Bulls ended the opening frame on a 7-1 run. Ben Gordon nailed a fadeaway as time expired, giving Chicago a 27-24 edge heading into the second quarter.
The Magic responded by kicking off the second period with an 18-5 flurry that was ignited by the bench. Bogans notched five points, while Cook went off for eight points, including consecutive three-pointers. Keyon Dooling stroked a bucket from beyond-the-arc with 7:46 on the clock to cap the burst and put Orlando on top, 42-32.
A balanced 16-4 barrage by the Bulls cut the deficit to a basket. Ben Wallace's jam brought Chicago within two points, 54-52, with 1:12 to go in the half.
It was Lewis who then took over for Orlando, piling on three points, including a running hook shot with 25 seconds to play, to push the Magic lead back up to five. Going into the locker rooms, Orlando held a slim 57-52 advantage.
"You can make any argument," commented Ben Gordon on the third quarter. "Whatever it was we just didn't make the plays we needed to make to win the game. Whatever it is we just have to address it and make sure it doesn't happen again."
Andres Nocioni exited the game for Chicago with a hip injury with 4:28 remaining in the third quarter. He did not return...Kirk Hinrich (back spasms) sat out for the Bulls for the first time in 35 starts...The Magic are 19-8 when eclipsing the century mark in scoring...After giving up at least 100 points in each of its last four games, Orlando held the Bulls to 88...The Magic are 24-4 when leading through three periods...Lewis has notched at least 20 points for Orlando in each of his last four outings.
01/15 22:59:17 ET