Late Spurt Lifts Bulls Over Magic

Chicago 97, Orlando 83

Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each scored 21 points and the Chicago Bulls held off a fourth-quarter surge by Orlando to beat the Magic 97-83 on Friday night for their sixth straight victory.

Carlos Boozer added 20 points for Chicago, which led by as many as 17 before the lead was trimmed to three. The Bulls closed the game on a 17-6 run.

Dwight Howard led the Magic with 28 points and 15 rebounds.

The Bulls (7-1) are off to their best start since winning 12 of 13 to open the 1996-97 season. The latest victory began a brutal stretch for Chicago that includes seven games in nine nights.

Orlando (5-3) lost at home for the first time this season. It was the Magic's first game against a 2010-11 playoff team since their opener at Oklahoma City.

Rose went through some scoring lulls but kept Chicago's offense on schedule, handing out 10 assists and coming within two rebounds of a triple-double.

The Bulls dominated inside and held a 46-37 rebounding edge. They also had 27 assists.

The Magic bench, which had been playing well this season, was 3 for 15 from the field.

The game featured several momentum shifts in the first three quarters.

The Bulls briefly opened a 17-point lead early in the third before three straight Magic 3-pointers pulled them within 62-54.

That came after Chicago built a 10-point lead at halftime.

The Bulls made their early run even though Rose was held scoreless in the second quarter. Kyle Korver picked up the slack with nine points and Boozer added eight, including a jumper at the halftime horn.

Rose got off to a strong start with 12 first-quarter points.

The Magic jumped out to a 10-2 lead, prompting a quick Bulls timeout. But Chicago responded with a spurt of its own that included six straight points by Rose to tie it at 17.

Orlando regained its footing, outscoring the Bulls 10-9 the rest of the quarter thanks to six points by Howard, who was 6 for 8 in the period with 14 points and five rebounds.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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