CHICAGO – The Chicago Bulls dominated the start of the fourth quarter to beat the Orlando Magic 99-93 on Tuesday at the United Centre in a match-up of two teams trying to adjust to playing without last season’s All Stars.
Luol Deng scored eight of his team-high 23 in the fourth quarter where reserve Nate Robinson also provided a spark to quickly erase a three-point deficit and take the game by the horns.
The Bulls were able to improve to 3-1 this season where they are without 2010-11 MVP Derrick Rose, sidelined indefinitely after tearing knee ligaments during last season’s playoffs. The Magic, rebuilding following the trade of Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, suffered their first loss of the season despite 28 points from Arron Afflalo. In a tightly contested game, Orlando grabbed a 71-68 lead after the third quarter before Chicago opened the fourth with a 12-2 run.
Robinson and Deng traded critical jump shots during the scoring run to position the Bulls for victory.
Joakim Noah had 20 points, nine rebounds and five blocks for the Bulls while Carlos Boozer added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Glen Davis, who had been carrying the Orlando offence and entered the game with a 25.5 points per game, could not find his range and made just 7 of 22 shots.