Trans. Apr 15 6:30 ET (Apr 15 6:30 ET ) Bouncing back from a disappointing loss the previous evening, the Bulls (48-33) coasted past the Magic (23-58), 108-95, Monday night at the United Center, placing six players in double figures. The Bulls went on an early 12-0 run to build a double-digit lead behind the frontcourt trio of Carlos Boozer (13 points, 12 rebounds, five assists), Mike Dunleavy Jr. (22 points, five rebounds) and All-Star center Joakim Noah (18 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists). However, the depleted Magic, who were missing starters Jameer Nelson and Nikola Vucevic, battled back to close the gap as the opening period went on, propelled by rookie guard Victor Oladipo and second-year big man Kyle O’Quinn (20 points, seven rebounds).
[MORE: Bulls not concerned with playoff positioning ] Without D.J. Augustin in the lineup — the backup point guard missed the game because his wife gave birth to their son earlier Monday — fan favorite Jimmer Fredette (17 points) was Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau’s first substitution of the evening. Despite Boozer’s double-figure stanza, Orlando, which also got a boost from reserve forward Andrew Nicholson (19 points), would make it a close-knit affair by the conclusion of the first quarter, at which point the Bulls were clinging to a tenuous 25-21 advantage, following a Dunleavy three-pointer.
Gradually, the Bulls extended their lead to double digits again, led by sixth man Taj Gibson (eight points, six rebounds, two blocked shots), rookie swingman Tony Snell (13 points) and Fredette’s solid play at the point. While the Magic starting backcourt duo of Oladipo and veteran Arron Afflalo was effective, so was the quartet of Noah, Snell, swingman Jimmy Butler (12 points) and Boozer — who made a rare second-quarter appearance when Gibson got into foul trouble, resulting in a first-half double-double — and at the intermission, the Bulls led, 57-44, after a Snell jumper at the halftime buzzer.
[ALSO: Jimmer shines in absence of Augustin ] After the break, the Magic trimmed the deficit, as the Bulls struggled offensively in the third quarter, allowing the visitors to cut it to as little as a three-point gap. But the Bulls rallied to create some separation and heading into the final stanza, they held an 81-70 lead, behind Noah’s typically stellar all-around play and Dunleavy’s outside shooting. The fourth quarter consisted of a personal showcase for Fredette, as the Bulls were able to maintain their comfortable winning margin. The extended garbage time allowed Ronnie Brewer to play in the game’s final two minutes, the regular-season home finale.
- Aggrey Sam, CSN Chicago
Bouncing back from a disappointing loss the previous evening, the Bulls (48-33) coasted past the Magic (23-58), 108-95, Monday night at the United Center, placing six players in double figures.The Bulls went on an early 12-0 run to build a double-digit lead behind the frontcourt trio of Carlos Boozer (13 points, 12 rebounds, five assists), Mike Dunleavy Jr. (22 points, five rebounds) and All-Star center Joakim Noah (18 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists). ...
Carlos Boozer played exactly 24 minutes for the 11th straight game on Sunday.
The Scoop:He scored eight points with seven rebounds and five assists, but his limited playing time has been a drag for fantasy owners all season. Tom Thibodeau likes to play Boozer for the entire first and third quarters, while pairing Joakim Noah with Taj Gibson in the third and fourth, and if nothing else Thibs has been incredibly consistent with his rotations.
The addition of Luol Deng was supposed to give the Cleveland Cavaliers that much-needed wing scorer/defender that would catapult them into the postseason. But that move like so many in the Cavaliers' post-LeBron James era, has not worked out as Cleveland will once again fail to make the playoffs. For Deng, joining Cleveland in January after spending nine-plus seasons in Chicago, has been diligently working towards learning a new system with new expectations and to some degree, a different role. In Chicago, he was part of a leadership unit included Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich, Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose.
D.J. Augustin scored 24 points, Taj Gibson added 17, and the Chicago Bulls rallied from 18 down to beat the Detroit Pistons 106-98 for their seventh straight win on Friday night. Carlos Boozer finished with 18 points. Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored all of his 14 in the second half, and the Bulls kept their longest win streak of the season going. They moved a game ahead of Atlantic Division leader Toronto for third in the Eastern Conference, with the Raptors losing to the New York Knicks.