Mon, 11 Dec 2023

Magic withstand Bulls' second-half charge

Field Level Media
18 Nov 2023, 13:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

Franz Wagner scored 21 points and Jonathan Isaac had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead the visiting Orlando Magic to a 103-97 win against the Chicago Bulls on Friday in the NBA in-season tournament.

Chicago's Zach LaVine scored 25 of his 34 points after halftime to help the Bulls overcome a tough start.

Orlando improved to 1-1 in East Group C, while Chicago fell to 0-2.

The Magic shot 48.1 percent compared to 44.3 percent for the Bulls. Gary Harris (15 points), Paolo Banchero (13), Cole Anthony (11) and Mo Wagner (10) also finished in double figures for the Magic.

Back after missing Wednesday's 96-94 home loss to the Magic while tending to a personal issue, DeMar DeRozan had 23 points for the Bulls.

Alex Caruso added 18 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

The Bulls trailed by as many as 20 points while struggling with shooting and ball control. A 16-0 run in the fourth quarter vaulted them back in the game. LaVine showed his versatility throughout the spurt, which was punctuated by Coby White's dunk that gave Chicago a 90-89 advantage with 3:39 to go.

Caruso injured his right hand after diving for a loose ball in the third quarter. The guard was in noticeable pain, and held and shook out his right hand before having two fingers taped together. Caruso returned down the stretch and contributed five points in the final minute, including a 3 that put the Bulls ahead 97-96 with 25.7 seconds left.

Franz Wagner converted a three-point play with 20.6 seconds left to give the Magic a 99-97 edge. Vucevic missed a corner 3 with 13 seconds left before the Magic sealed the win at the free-throw line.

Orlando took a 48-33 lead into intermission while limiting the Bulls to 30.6 percent shooting. It marked the second time in three nights the Bulls managed just 33 first-half points against the Magic, matching an NBA season low for points before the break.

Harris was back in the lineup after a five-game absence with a right groin strain.

Jalen Suggs missed the game for Orlando with left knee soreness, while Markelle Fultz was sidelined for the fourth straight contest with left knee tendinitis.

--Field Level Media

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