ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Chicago Bulls overcame a 2 for 22 shooting performance in the 3rd quarter, to defeat the Orlando Magic by the score of 90-82 on Friday Night. Lauri Markkanen and Sean Kilpatrick both scored 13 points a piece to lead Chicago in the victory.
Down by five early in the fourth quarter, the Bulls went on a 14-0 run to put them up by nine with 6:44 left in the quarter. During that run, the Bulls bench of Ryan Acridiacono, Sean Kilpatrick and Noah Vonleh scored nine of the points in the run and Jerian Grant’s step-back jumper over Bismack Biyombo highlighted the stretch.
“I thought that was a group that was giving us energy. They were the ones out there that got that lead back for us and found a way to make the necessary plays to get the win. Most of that on the defensive end. I thought their hands were active, they got deflections, we turned them over. I think they scored five in the last thirty seconds. We could have held them to single digits like they did to us in the third quarter, but to be able to stick with it with a young group after a really tough twelve minutes, get it going again and get a little momentum and rhythm, was good to see.” – Bulls Head Coach Fred Hoiberg on the group that ended the game for Chicago
Chicago took a 13-point lead in the half, after Bulls Center Cristiano Felicio’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was waved off. The Bulls started the game off hot and Markkanen was the major reason why. After sitting Thursday night’s game, he came out on fire to start the game. He hit three of his first four shots, including a monster dunk on Magic center Nikola Vucevic, that got his teammates on their feet. He finished the quarter with eight points.
Orlando struggled all night shooting the basketball, especially from the three-point line. Orlando missed 32 of its 39 attempts from downtown and shot 33% from the floor for the entire game as a team.
“Yeah, we just got really cold. I just watched a lot of possessions in the fourth quarter and you know, we missed some hooks at the basket, we missed some wide open threes and we didn’t get back and match up and stop them well enough defensively, but I was proud of how our guys came out of halftime after a tough first half. We knew that we could kind of wear them down. They played last night and that the defense would hold up. We responded in the third quarter, played a good quarter and then just couldn’t hit a shot in the fourth.” – Magic Head Coach Frank Vogel on the 14-0 run by the Bulls in the fourth quarter
Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 18 points and seven rebounds. But he shot 6 for 21 from the floor and 1 for 8 from the 3-point line. Vucevic had 12 points and 14 rebounds as well. But both players shot a combined 11 for 37 on the night.
Orlando will go on the road for the next two games. They will play on Easter Sunday in Atlanta and then head up to New York to play the Knicks on Monday night. They return home to take on the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org