ORLANDO – The sad thing is that their defense actually did their part in the fourth quarter when the had to get the job done. It’s just a shame that the Bulls’ offense couldn’t come close to matching that effort to deliver another victory.
Despite the fact they allowed just 20 points in the fourth quarter – the least they’d given up to the Magic all game long – the Bulls could only muster 14 on their end during the final 12 minutes. Orlando was able to use that to snag a 103-95 win Monday night at the Amway Center before each team takes a break for the Christmas holiday.
The bad finish, which has become commonplace for this Jim Boylen team, took away a little cheer from the group that came in on a two-game winning streak. But the shot at three-straight for the first time this season is gone, leaving the Bulls at 12-20 on the season.
What makes it tougher is that the Magic came into the game having lost five of their last six games and three-straight, but they managed to get right against the Bulls on Monday.
Zach LaVine had another strong effort as he led the Bulls with 26 points on the night and Tomas Satoransky 20, and each had a big part of a quick start for the Bulls. Each had a basket as the Bulls scored the first nine points of the contest and maintained the lead into the third quarter.
Then Terrence Ross (26 points) and Nikola Vucevic (21 points) started going to work as the Magic took the lead heading to the fourth quarter, and then the Bulls went cold. In the final eight minutes, the Bulls managed just three field goals in total as the Magic slowly pulled away down the stretch, finishing it off with an Aaron Gordon putback slam with 36 seconds to go.
So much for some Christmas cheer for the Bulls as another poor finish sends the team to a five-day break with some bad vibes.