Afflalo scores 23 as Magic beat Bulls
CHICAGO – Arron Afflalo scored 23 points and the Orlando Magic got double-doubles from Glen Davis and Nikola Vucevic in an 83-82 victory over the slumping Bulls on Monday night.
Davis had 14 points and 11 rebounds despite playing with a sore left shoulder, powering Orlando to a 54-45 edge on the glass in just its second win in the last 10 games. Vucevic finished with 10 points and 11 boards.
The Bulls had a chance to win despite shooting 34.6 percent from the field during another terrible offensive performance. Trailing 81-79 with 6.8 seconds left, Joakim Noah made a terrific bounce pass to a streaking Luol Deng, but he missed the easy layup.
Davis grabbed the rebound and made two foul shots to give the Magic a four-point lead that proved crucial when Mike Dunleavy made a 3-pointer from half court as time expired.
Deng had 26 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who have dropped five of six. D.J. Augustin and Dunleavy had 14 points apiece, and Noah finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Jameer Nelson had 14 points and seven assists for Orlando, which had lost its last five games against the Bulls.
The Magic appeared to be on their way to an easy victory when Vucevic and Afflalo made consecutive jumpers to make it 63-46 with 5:17 left in the third. Afflalo had 13 points in the period.
But the Bulls started to pick up their play at the end of the quarter. Augustin, Dunleavy and Deng each made a 3-pointer during a 13-2 run that trimmed Orlando’s lead to 65-59 with 58.1 seconds left, capped by an emphatic two-handed jam by Taj Gibson over Vucevic.
The Bulls played without point guard Kirk Hinrich for the second straight game due to back stiffness. Coach Tom Thibodeau said he hopes Hinrich will be able to return soon.
Marquis Teague replaced Hinrich in the starting lineup, but the Bulls’ offense looked much better when Augustin was on the court. Augustin, who signed with the Bulls on Friday and started the second half, had eight assists in 37 minutes, while Teague was scoreless in 11 minutes.
The Magic put together a 15-0 run in the first quarter and led 43-35 at the break. Rookie Victor Oladipo, who played his college ball at Indiana and got a warm ovation when he was introduced with the starting lineup, scored the final basket of the first half on a driving layup with 12 seconds left.
Davis injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter of Orlando’s 101-98 loss at Oklahoma City on Sunday. He was a game-time decision against the Bulls, but he made two big jumpers in the final period while playing 33 minutes.