The battle between a couple of the NBA’s Eastern Conference bottom dwellers came down a game of attrition, with the Chicago Bulls being without a couple of its top players in Zach Lavine and Kris Dunn and Orlando without Evan Fournier and Jonathan Simmons. With both teams missing major firepower in their respective back courts, the Bulls and Magic squared off as a couple clubs that are looking more towards the NBA Draft as the season winds down.
Chicago’s Sean Kilpatrick came off the bench to score 13 points and helped lead the Bulls to a 90-82 win at Amway Arena Friday night. The won for Chicago snaps a 7-game losing skid and Orlando lost its second in a row. The Magic will play on Easter in Atlanta, with tip-off being slated for 6 p.m.
”We really had them on the ropes in the third quarter,” Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel said, ”And I thought there were a handful of possessions that set up a poor fourth quarter by trying to go for the knockout punch, the dagger 3s, and just trying to force it a little bit when we had them on the ropes.”
Poor execution down the stretch and dreadful 3-point shooting by Orlando did them in, as the Magic shot a woeful 7-of-39 from outside the arc. One of the bright spots for the Magic was the play of center Nikola Vucevic, who notched a double-double scoring 12 points and snatching 14 rebounds.
On a night where Orlando was able to out-rebound Chicago 55-53 on the boards, the Magic just couldn’t get anything to drop when it came to 3-point baskets. Chicago shot a more modest 14-of-41 from outside, good enough for a respectable 34 percent.