Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Chicago's new kid on the block and its newest members on the team shined, as Derrick Rose scored 22 points and the trio of John Salmons, Tim Thomas and Brad Miller combined for 37 more in the Bulls' 120-102 victory over Orlando at the United Center.
Rose dished out five assists and was economical with the ball, committing just one turnover for the Bulls, who rebounded from a loss to Indiana. Ben Gordon added 20 points, Thomas scored 17, Salmons 11 and Miller nine off the bench, and Joakim Noah contributed 14 points and eight rebounds.
Dwight Howard carried the load for Orlando, muscling to 26 points with 12 rebounds. Courtney Lee added 14 points, Rafer Alston added 10 and five assists, while Hedo Turkoglu notched 16 points. Orlando saw its two-game winning streak come to an end, and lost in its attempt for a seventh straight win over the Bulls.
"We are kidding ourselves," said Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy when asked if his team played like the Eastern Conference contender its 41-15 record indicates.
The game's turning point came in the third period, after Chicago had built a 63-54 halftime advantage. Eight straight points by the Magic trimmed the deficit to 83-82 after Lee's jumper, but the Bulls rattled off the final four points -- all from Rose -- for an 87-82 edge.
The lead grew exponentially from there. Salmons finished off a three-point conversion, then Gordon and Miller hit back-to-back buckets for a 101-89 lead. Orlando trimmed the margin to 101-94 on a Turkoglu three, but again Chicago had its way on the offensive end, scoring eight straight from the charity stripe for a 109-94 edge -- a lead the Bulls held to the final buzzer.