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Gordon leads Bulls to rout of struggling Magic

Mar 9, 2007 - 5:37 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon enjoyed his visit to the Magic Kingdom much more than South Beach.

Gordon scored 25 points to lead three starters in double figures for the Chicago Bulls en route to a 100-76 triumph over the slumping Orlando Magic.

Kirk Hinrich scored 17 points and Luol Deng chipped in 15 and 14 rebounds for Chicago, which improved to 6-1 in its last seven trips to Orlando.

Gordon connected on 7-of-17 shots, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range to help the Bulls bounce back from Wednesday's lackluster performance against defending champion Miami.

"We played with a lot more energy," Gordon said. "We just wanted to redeem ourselves from (Wednesday's) effort. We just had a lot more energy and a greater sense of urgency on the defensive end. It showed in our play."

Hinrich's 10 first-quarter points helped Chicago create a 26-17 advantage after one period.

"Kirk got us off to a good start," Gordon said. "Luol and I just tried to do our part while he (Hinrich) was hot."

"We put ourselves in a big hole and it was too much to come out from," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "I though Hinrich controlled the game for them in the beginning of the game."

With a seven-point edge already in hand, Chicago added to its cushion with an impressive 14-0 burst to make it 44-23 on Gordon's 3-pointer at the 3:24 mark in the second quarter.

"We were much more aggressive on both ends early, and also we were fortunate at the same time," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "They missed some layups and stuff that they normally would make that they just missed. We were much more active and we took the game to them."

Chicago was never really challenged thereafter.

The Magic were outscored, 49-29, over the opening two quarters, shooting just 31 percent (12-of-31) from the field in the first half.

"I don't think we were flat, we just couldn't make shots," Hill said. "Don't ask me why."

All-Star Dwight Howard collected 17 points and 14 rebounds and Jameer Nelson scored 13 points for Orlando, which is 16-30 after beginning the season with a stellar 13-4 record.

Magic forward Grant Hill returned after missing three games with an injured left foot, scoring seven points in 27 minutes off the bench.

"I thought we'd get more of an impact, but that's a tough one to evaluate when a guy's coming off a foot injury like that," Brian Hill said. "You never know what to expect, how he's going to move and push and play off and everything else."

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