CHICAGO — Center Nikola Vucevic and guard Victor Oladipo each scored 33 points to help the Orlando Magic snap a six-game losing streak with a 121-114 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday at the United Center.
Guard Elfrid Payton added 10 points and was the only other double-digit scorer for Orlando, which came into the game just 5-15 against teams with winning records.
The Magic (14-27) easily outscored their season average of 93.6 points a game and led after every quarter, shooting a red hot 59.3 percent from the field.
The Bulls (26-13), in first place in the Central Division, lost for the seventh time to a team with a record currently under .500, five of those games in Chicago.
Forward Pau Gasol scored 28 points to lead five Bulls in double figures. Guard Derrick Rose added 18 points, guard Jimmy Butler 17 points, guard Aaron Brooks 12 and rookie forward Nikola Mirotic 11.
Chicago fell behind early and fought the rest of the game to make up the difference. The Bulls couldn’t get over the hump in the fourth, only able to get within five points several times.
Orlando nearly lost comfortable leads in the second and third quarters but battled back each time with impressive runs. The Bulls made it 73-70 with 6:52 left in the third on a layup by Rose, but the Magic rattled off an 18-4 streak and outscored Chicago 20-8 in the remainder of the quarter to lead 93-78 starting the fourth.
The run was highlighted by 13 combined points from Oladipo (seven) and Vucevic (six). Vucevic scored 14 points in the quarter and slammed an impressive dunk over Gasol for the Magic’s final scoring in the frame.
The Magic came out scorching hot, hitting seven of their first 10 shots and forging a 29-21 lead after the first quarter on 60.9 percent shooting. Vucevic led the way by hitting six of eight shots and grabbing five rebounds while going against Gasol, who gave the Bulls six points and five rebounds in the first.
Orlando continued its torrid pace and shooting proficiency in the second, when again the Magic maintained the blistering 60.9 shooting percentage. They opened up a 15-point lead midway through before Chicago got hot to stay in the game.
The Bulls, who shot 65 percent in the second quarter, cut the deficit to 54-51 with 2:07 left in the first half on a 3-pointer by guard Tony Snell to cap a 14-2 run. Orlando regrouped to outscore Chicago 10-4 from that point to lead 63-55 at the half.
NOTES: Bulls F Mike Dunleavy, a starter, missed his sixth game because of a right ankle sprain. … Chicago rookie F Doug McDermott (right knee) missed his 22nd game. … Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is looking to shorten his bench and use no more than nine players once Dunleavy returns. … Orlando played its second straight game without starting F Tobias Harris (sprained left ankle) and reserve G Evan Fournier (sprained right knee). Each was questionable coming into the game. Harris is averaging 18.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Fournier averages 13.6 points and 2.2 assists off the bench. “We need everybody to defensively be in tune and have a sound approach offensively,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. … Magic F Aaron Gordon missed his 30th game with a fractured toe in his left foot. Gordon, who had surgery Nov. 21, has no return timetable set.
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