Game review: Magic (46-20) 111, Bulls (31-33) 82
Injury-plagued Chicago, already missing Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, lost All-Star guard Derrick Rose in the final seconds of the first quarter with a sprained wrist after a collision with Magic center Dwight Howard. As a result, the Magic had their largest halftime lead of the season at 65-33 and cruised to the final for their seventh win in a row. Vince Carter scored 21 of his game-high 23 points in the first half for the Magic.
The Magic never trailed in the game, and had as much as a 28-15 lead in the first quarter before going into the second quarter with a 28-17 lead. The Magic poured it on in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulls 20-3 to end the quarter to go into halftime with the 32 point lead. The Magic led 68-35 early in the third quarter but then went 8 1/2 minutes without a field goal as the Bulls went on a 15-1 run to get to within 69-50 to make some Magic fans nervous, knowing the Magic's penchant for blowing big leads. That was as close as the Bulls got, as the Magic went into the fourth quarter with a 79-51 lead. The Bulls never got closer than 24 points in the final quarter, and the Magic had their largest lead of the game at 109-75 in the final minutes.
Magic leading scorers
Vince Carter: 23 points (8 of 13 FGs, 2 of 5 3 PT FGs), 4 rebounds
Matt Barnes: 14 points (5 of 8 FGs, 2 of 3 3 PT FGs), 4 rebounds
Brandon Bass (bench): 13 points (4 of 5 FGs), 8 rebounds, 2 blocks
Dwight Howard: 12 points (4 of 6 FGs), 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers
J.J. Redick (bench): 11 points (2 of 7 FGs), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Overall Game Statistics
FG%: ORL 55.1% (38 of 69) CHI 39.8% (33 of 83)
3 PT FG%: ORL 37.5% (9 of 24) CHI 25% (4 of 16)
FT%: ORL 78.8% (26 of 33) CHI 63.2% (12 of 19)
REB: ORL 46 (11 offensive) CHI 29 (9 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 19/21 CHI 19/14
BENCH: ORL 47 CHI 46
Other game notes and stats:
-The Magic's Mickael Pietrus was inactive for the game with a strained neck; Adonal Foyle took his place
-All 11 players who played for the Magic scored at least 4 points
-Four Bulls' players scored in double figures, led by rookie James Johnson with 13 points and Taj Gibson with 12 points, 9 rebounds; Derrick Rose scored just 2 points before leaving the game with his injury
-Jameer Nelson (9 points ) and Rashard Lewis (6 points) were held to single digits
-Jason Williams and J.J. Redick each had 4 assists off the bench to lead the Magic
-Marcin Gortat had a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with 7 points and 2 blocks
-No Magic starter played more than 29 minutes, as Howard played just under 20 minutes
-Redick led the Magic in minutes played with 35
-The Bulls shot just 12 of 37 in the first half (32%) as the Magic shot 23 of 37 (62%)
Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com.
Check out Matt's post underneath this one, as he gives his early playoff predictions.