Rapid Reaction: Magic 99, Bulls 94

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
10:03
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Orlando Magic pulled out a 99-94 win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Dwight Howard had 29 points and 18 rebounds as the Magic snapped the Bulls' eight-game winning streak. Carlos Boozer tried to single-handedly lead the Bulls back on the offensive end, scoring 26 points and grabbing seven rebounds, but it wasn't to be. Derrick Rose had 17 points, Taj Gibson added 14, while Joakim Noah chipped in with nine points and 10 rebounds.

What it means: Tom Thibdoeau had a feeling this kind of game was coming. After Wednesday night's win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Thibodeau said he didn't like the defense his team was playing. Those fears came to fruition in Thursday's loss. The Bulls had a hard time containing the Magic early and struggled to come up with big plays late. Yes, the Bulls deserve credit for coming back from an 18-point deficit, but what most fans will remember from this game is that Kyle Korver missed six 3-pointers down the stretch (including five wide-open looks) that would have extended Chicago leads.

Korver has struggled to find a rhythm the past year and a half in Chicago. Obviously, it wasn't his fault the Bulls lost the game, but those missed shots will loom large in fans' eyes. Derrick Rose was just 6-for-22 from the field, and aside from Boozer, the Bulls had a hard time putting together any kind of consistent offense. Luol Deng struggled terribly from the field, going just 1-for-9.

Stat of the night: The Magic outrebounded the Bulls 49-40.

Bold play of the game: With the game tied at 91 and just 1:29 left in the game, Magic forward Ryan Anderson knocked down a 3-pointer that would give his team a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

What's next: The Bulls have a day off before facing off against the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.


Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
20.5 3.2 1.8 39.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 12.0
AssistsD. Rose 4.9
StealsJ. Butler 1.8
BlocksP. Gasol 2.2