Magic's second-half comeback attempt falls short against Bulls
Published in Basketball
ORLANDO, Fla. — For most of Saturday, the Orlando Magic’s 128-109 home loss to the Chicago Bulls looked like it was going to go how most of their games on the second night of a back-to-back have gone.
The defensive intensity was lacking early. Their 3-point shots weren’t falling.
The Bulls took advantage of the Magic’s lackluster play, holding leads of 25-19 at the end of the first, 60-47 at halftime and 89-64 with 3:27 in the third quarter.
The Magic appeared to have lacked answers to the problems the Bulls were causing — until their second unit found them.
The bench unit of Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs (11 points, five assists, four rebounds), Admiral Schofield, Bol Bol and Moe Wagner found the two-way play the Magic lacked for most of the game.
They got the stops needed to cut the deficit to 95-81 at the end of the third.
Wagner (team-high 27 points) scored 16 straight points tonight during the second half, cutting the deficit to 98-86 with 11:19 remaining.
Anthony (21 points, six assists and six rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench) had back-to-back buckets to trim the deficit to 98-90 with 10:22 left — the first time the deficit was single digits since midway through the second quarter.
The Magic stuck with the Bulls for most of the fourth despite the shotmaking from Zach LaVine (32 points), DeMar DeRozan (32 points, eight assists) and Nikola Vučević (26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists). Anthony made a 3 to cut the deficit to 111-106 with 4:28 remaining.
They didn’t get any closer, with the Bulls (23-26) holding off the Magic (19-31) at Amway Center to give Orlando the defeat on the second night of the back-to-back.
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