NBA: Bulls’ star trio helps turn back Magic rally
DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine scored 32 points apiece and Nikola Vucevic added 26 points and 13 rebounds as the visiting Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 128-109 on Saturday.
Patrick Williams scored eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help Chicago snap a two-game losing skid. The Bulls led by as many as 25 in the third quarter before Orlando mounted a late charge.
Moritz Wagner led Orlando with a season-high 27 points, while Cole Anthony had 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. Wendell Carter Jr. and Jalen Suggs scored 11 points apiece.
Orlando was on the verge of being blown out before Wagner scored 11 straight Magic points to close the third quarter and cut the deficit to 95-81.
Wagner then scored the first five Orlando points of the fourth quarter, and Anthony’s dunk made it an eight-point game with 10:22 remaining.
Orlando pulled within 111-106 on Anthony’s trey with 4:28 left before Chicago closed the game on a 17-3 run. The Bulls shot 59.3 percent from the field and 16 of 35 (45.7 percent) from 3-point range.
Vucevic and LaVine scored nine points in the first quarter to help give Chicago a 25-19 lead. Orlando missed all seven 3-point attempts in the period.
Chicago led by six midway through the second quarter before going on a 13-2 run to move ahead 56-39.
Vucevic scored 17 points in the first half for the Bulls, who held a 60-47 advantage at the half after shooting 57.1 percent.
Orlando was 2 of 12 (16.7 percent) shooting from 3-point range in the first half, and the team’s offense continued to struggle after the break.
DeRozan, who picked up a technical foul just before halftime, bookended a 15-6 run to open the third quarter with a pair of 3-pointers.
Chicago guard Goran Dragic returned after a three-game absence due to a non-COVID illness and had seven points and five assists in 13 minutes.
Paolo Banchero scored nine points on 3-of-14 shooting for Orlando, which fell to 1-9 on the second night of a back-to-back after losing 110-105 to the Miami Heat on Friday.