|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBADespite overcoming some mid-season problems and becoming one of the premier teams in the NBA, as well as coming back from a 24-point deficit to defeat the Miami Heat on Thursday night, the Orlando Magic fell short at home. Playing the Chicago Bulls in Orlando, the Magic could not keep up their fourth-quarter momentum from the Heat game, losing 89-81.
The problem for any team playing Chicago is finding some way to shut down probable-MVP point guard Derrick Rose. The Magic had no answer for Rose, who scored 24 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and made 4 assists. Three other Bulls players also scored in the double digits, with Luol Deng at 16, Carlos Boozer at 12, and Kyle Korver at 10 points.
Chicago also rebounded well throughout the game. In addition to Rose's four, Omar Asik pulled down 13 boards coming off the bench, Boozer had 9, and Joakim Noah got 7 rebounds. With their win, the Bulls improve to 42-18, and proved that they can beat some of the better teams in the league on the road.
The Magic fell to 40-23 with the loss to the Bulls. In the second quarter of the game, Dwight Howard was hit with a technical foul for throwing his elbows after grabbing a rebound. Because this is Howar'd 16th technical on the season, he will likely be suspended for the game against the Portland Trailblazers on Monday night.
Where the Magic usually excel is beyond the three-point line, but last night's perimeter shooting was surprisingly weak. Orlando went 1-for-11 from three-point land through the first half of the game, which allowed the Chicago team to start cruising past the Magic 49-35 at halftime. Although Orlando closed the gap in the second half, they never really came within making it competitive.
Chicago is looking to end the season with their best record since Michael Jordan retired for the second time in the late 1990s. The Bulls are currently in third place in the Eastern Conference, behind the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, while the Magic are fourth in the East.