Rapid Reaction: Bulls 85, Magic 59
March, 19, 2012
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned an impressive 85-59 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night at the Amway Center.
How it happened: Playing without Derrick Rose (groin) for the fourth consecutive game, the Bulls put together probably their best defensive effort of the season. Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 13 rebounds. John Lucas III had a huge game off the bench, scoring 20 points, while Luol Deng added 14.
What it means: The final score may not have looked pretty, but it was beautiful to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Given who they were playing (the Magic) and who they were playing without (Rose) this might have been the best game the Bulls have played all year. Their defense was on-point all night and they didn't allow the Magic to get going from beyond the arc. Orlando was just 4-for-20 from 3-point range and the Bulls contested almost every shot. The Bulls were the better team from start to finish and they played even better at the end than they did in the beginning.
Bold play of the game: The Bulls made plenty of solid defensive plays,which is fitting because it came on a night in which they earned Thibodeau his 100th career victory. With the win, Thibodeau became the fastest coach in NBA history to record his 100th win.
Stats of the night: The Bulls set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a regular-season game, giving up just 59. Their previous low was against the Milwaukee Bucks in 1997 when they gave up 62.
What's next: The Bulls are scheduled to practice in Orlando before flying to Toronto Tuesday afternoon. They face off against the Raptors on Wednesday night.