Magic sweep season series from Bulls, reach 50-win markApr 14, 2008 - 2:41 AM By Rory Spears PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy let his team know where he stood on coasting into the playoffs. His team rewarded him with their first 50-win season in 12 campaigns.
Hedo Turkoglu had 24 points and eight assists, leading the Magic to a 104-84 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
Orlando (50-30) has already clinched the Southeast Division while locking up the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
However, following disappointing losses to the New York Knicks last Sunday and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, Van Gundy let his team know how upset he was in their inability to defeat lesser clubs.
"Coach told us when we got off the bus today he expected a good effort," Magic center Dwight Howard said. "No matter who you play in this league, you have to give a good effort, we didn't want a repeat of the Knicks game."
But Chicago has served as the team that has allowed Orlando to get back on track all season long.
"It's great to sweep the Bulls," Howard said. "It seems like anytime we are up in a series, we haven't always put the other team away and haven't completed the sweep, like against the Knicks."
The Magic, who swept the season series from the Bulls for the first time since 2001-02, have used their last three wins to overcome surprising losses the game before and, as a result, secured their first 50-win season since the 1995-96 campaign.
"I think 50 wins is a very significant accomplishment," Van Gundy said. "That is a benchmark in this league. I am proud of our team."
"It's special to hit 50 wins," Turkoglu said. "The last four years we have had our ups and downs, but we still have some other goal to reach this year."
Orlando, which handed Chicago a 32-point pasting on Wednesday, could not pull away until the final quarter, when the Magic expanded a 82-74 lead after three into a 16-point cushion with 8:28 left, when they went on a 10-2 run thanks to five points from Turkoglu.
Howard scored 19 points and Rashard Lewis added 18 for the Magic, who built as much as a 22-point lead late in the contest.
"There are just some teams we have not matched up against well this year and Orlando is one of them," Bulls interim coach Jim Boylan said. "We tried to hang with them tonight, but they just ran away from us."
Chicago was paced by 22 points off the bench from Andres Nocioni.
CHICAGO 84 FINAL
Apr 13 9:22 PM
CHICAGO 74 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 13 8:57 PM
CHICAGO 48 HALFTIME
Apr 13 8:11 PM
CHICAGO 24 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 13 7:41 PM
- Magic formally introduce Frank Vogel as their new coach May 23
- Magic officially announce Frank Vogel as new head coach May 20
- AP Source: Orlando Magic hire Frank Vogel as next coach May 19
- Thursday's Sports in Brief May 13
- How many times has your team changed coaches in the Pop era? May 12
- Scott Skiles resigns as coach of Magic after just 1 season May 12
- BC-AP Sports Preview Digest May 12
- Timberwolves hire Thibodeau as coach/president, Layden is GM Apr 20
- APNewsBreak: Timberwolves talking with Mark Jackson Apr 19
- Steve Kerr enjoying the ride watching Warriors make history Apr 14
- Magic walk away from season disappointed, yet encouraged Apr 14
- Changes could be in store for Bulls after rough season Apr 14