DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and the Bulls defeated the Magic 123-88
Orlando, Florida. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, Zach Lavigne added 21 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 123-88 on Friday night, owned by Nikola Vucevich.
Playing in Orlando for the first time after nine seasons with the Magic, the Chicago center added 16 points and eight rebounds for a game that turned into a defeat.
“It’s a special place for me and it’s always special to come back,” said Vucevich, who was only playing in his second game after missing seven matches due to COVID.
“I’m still not 100%, which is to be expected. As much as I enjoyed lying on my couch for 10 days, it’s not easy to get back in,” added Vucevich, who played 29 minutes and earned a video score on the scoreboard during a layover. Time for me. My feelings because it brought back all those memories.”
“Fuch is the kind of guy who keeps calm,” said Kobe White, who came off the bench in Chicago with 20 points. “But it was nice to see him come back here and win, and I think he’s definitely excited.”
Wendell Carter Jr., who went the other way on the March 25 deal that sent Vucevich to Chicago, scored 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic. Orlando lost five times in a row.
Magic never recovered from 18 straight points from Chicago midway through the first half. Orlando shot 37.5% overall and made only 7 of 32 3-point shots. Most of the first 15 trades contributed to the Chicago rallies.
“That’s what’s killing us, that’s what (opponents) know,” said Magic coach Jamal Mosley. “We have to stop hurting ourselves.”
DeRozan, the NBA’s No. 7 goalscorer at 25.8 points per game, didn’t convert a field goal until 1:45 remained in the first half.
The Bulls took the lead by scoring the first 16 points of the second quarter to lead 43-27. During that nearly four-minute span, White scored seven points while the Magic made four turnovers and missed all five of his shots.
“I got into an early rhythm,” said White, who hit 9 of 11 shots.
“He got off to a great start in attack,” said Bulls coach Billy Donovan. “The ball found him in the ocean, and tonight the ball went into the basket.”
Carter and rookie Galen Suggs helped the Magic reach nine points in the first half, but DeRozan responded with three three-pointers in the third quarter, topping one by four.
Orlando’s top scorer, Cole Anthony, missed the fourth consecutive game with a right ankle injury.
The Bulls: Donovan, who was briefly a Magic coach before returning to the Florida Gators and didn’t actually coach a game with Orlando, has now faced four different Magic coaches: Scott Skils, Frank Vogel, Steve Clifford and Jamil Mosley. … Several teams are set to play Orlando and Miami on the same trip to Florida. The Bulls haven’t had such a trip since March 2018 and they don’t have one this season either.
The Magic: Starting Saturday, Orlando plays seven of its eight games and 10 of its next 13 games on the road. …Continuing the tradition of Thanksgiving in its 29th year, team employees—including Moseley, who sponsored the meal—served breakfast Thursday to more than 400 men, women and children at a homeless shelter.
Bulls: Miami hosts on Saturday.
Magic: In Cleveland on Saturday.
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