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Friday, April 5, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 87, Magic 86

By Nick Friedell



CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls pulled out an 87-86 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Nate Robinson had another big night for the Bulls, scoring 19 points and dishing out five assists. Luol Deng bounced back from a tough start and knocked down several big shots down the stretch. He finished the game with 19 points and four rebounds. Kirk Hinrich added 13 points as the Bulls capped off a five-games-in-seven-nights stretch.

What it means: The Bulls were exhausted and still found a way to win. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau shouldn't worry about the statistics from this game … only the fact that his players found a way to win after an emotional victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. The key for the Bulls over the last few games has been the energy Robinson is providing. When the rest of his teammates appear to be flat, Robinson injects life into a group that sorely needs it as they continue to play without Joakim Noah, Marco Belinelli, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and Rip Hamilton. Robinson can give Thibodeau fits but he has been a solid surprise for the veteran coach and provided a more consistent approach than expected.

Hits: Vladimir Radmanovic had a solid night off the bench, scoring seven points and pulling down four rebounds.

Misses: Carlos Boozer, Nazr Mohammed and Deng combined to go 12-for-40 from the field.

Stat of the night: The Bulls shot just 21.7 percent from the field … and still found a way to win.

What's next: The Bulls have a day off Saturday before facing off against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.