Bulls Top Magic - NBC Chicago

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Bulls Top Magic

Chicago 85, Orlando 59



    Celebrate This Holiday Season in Lively St. Charles
    Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, left, of England, drives past Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, of Turkey, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Monday, March 19, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Carlos Boozer scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds, John Lucas scored 20 points off the bench and the Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 85-59 on Monday night.

    Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau also became the fastest coach in NBA history to earn 100 career victories. The Bulls won for the fifth time in six games.

    They also improved to 3-1 over the past four games playing without guard Derrick Rose, who continued to nurse a sore groin.

    Dwight Howard had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Magic, who had 19 turnovers.

    The Magic have lost three of their last four since posting a three-game win streak. They've also now gone six straight quarters without scoring at least 20 points.

    Turnovers were a factor in the Magic's loss to the Bulls in early January and they again played a huge role Monday as Orlando's miscues yielded 25 of Chicago's points. By comparison, the Bulls' 16 turnovers only led to seven points for the Magic.

    Orlando trailed by double-digits for most of the second half, before cutting a 15-point Bulls' first-half lead to 12 entering the fourth quarter as its early turnover issues began to subside.

    The Bulls' offense was steady down the stretch, though, and Joakim Noah's three-point play on a two-handed dunk over Glen Davis with 6:54 to play in the game put them up 72-52 to end any comeback hopes.

    The Bulls took advantage of the Magic's initial turnover issues to build a 48-33 halftime advantage.

    Orlando opened the game with a 5-0 spurt, but Chicago got hot at the end of the first quarter thanks to a 10-0 run that included three straight 3-pointers by Lucas.

    Boozer's 16 first-half points paced a Bulls' team that shot 50 percent (20 for 40) in the opening 24 minutes, while the Magic connected on just 38 percent of their attempts (14 for 36).

    Chicago also scored 16 points off 11 Magic turnovers and scored 22 points in the paint.