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Sizzling Bulls scorch Magic

Feb 25, 2009 - 4:52 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The Chicago Bulls' hot shots put the big chill into the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

The Bulls connected at a 57 percent clip in downing the Magic, 120-102, on Tuesday.

Chicago's point total was the most allowed by Orlando in any game this season.

Vinny Del Negro loved the effort by his Bulls.

"We were solid from start to finish," Chicago's coach said. "Our ball movement was really good in the first half. Everyone contributed. The new players did a nice job of spacing the floor for us. We did a nice job of mixing up coverages on Dwight Howard."

Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy was as displeased as Del Negro was pleased.

"We played no defense at all," a ticked Van Gundy said. "I am embarrassed and disgusted by what I saw. I don't know if our players are, but they should be.

"We were horrible and we didn't try, so what happens is you get your butt kicked."

After the Magic closed within 83-82 in the third quarter, Derrick Rose hit a pair of baskets to ignite an 18-7 run bridging the final two quarters and giving the Bulls a comfortable margin.

The Magic closed within 101-94 on a basket by Rafer Alston and a 3-point shot by Hedo Turkoglu.

The Bulls countered with an 8-0 run to open a 15-point lead and settle the outcome as they snapped Orlando's six-game winning streak against Chicago. Overall, the Bulls enjoyed a 33-20 advantage in the final quarter.

Rose led the Bulls with 22 points. Ben Gordon pitched in with 20 and Tim Thomas added 17 off the bench.

"We played together as a team and hard on both ends," Thomas said. "When you do that, good things happen. Our team has a lot of talent. We can go big or small on the floor."

Howard had a double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando, which placed seven players in double figures but couldn't keep up with the Bulls' scorching touch.

"They were just on fire, it started with Derrick Rose coming in and hitting open shots," Howard said. "Then Ben Gordon starting lighting it up, everything we tried did not work."

Rose scored 14 points in the third quarter to keep Orlando at bay. The Bulls had built a 69-56 lead only to see the Magic chip away at the advantage.

"The veterans we have are really helping out," Rose said. "Tim Thomas does a great job of talking and calling out picks. I am glad that the new guys are here and I was able to knock down some shots."

An 8-0 run comprised of shots from long range by J.J. Redick and Anthony Johnson and a basket by Courtney Lee cut the margin to 83-82.

However, Rose responded with a driving layup and a pull-up jumper over Howard to build an 87-82 margin heading into the final quarter. The baskets ignited an 18-7 run that gave Chicago a 101-89 lead with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The Bulls couldn't contain Howard, who had 16 points and eight rebounds in the first half. Still, Chicago's balance offset the big man as the Bulls raced to a 63-54 lead at the break.

All nine players who saw action for Chicago scored in the first half, led by 10 apiece from Luol Deng and Gordon.

The Bulls were on fire before halftime, connecting on 28-of-47 from the floor (60 percent).

"What bothers me is our guys want to talk about being a contending team but, when I watch Boston and Cleveland, they bring a full effort about every night," Van Gundy said. "We have had two games in two weeks where we brought nothing to the defensive end of the floor. So, we are kidding ourselves."

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    RUWTbot Added 41 roots

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