Thanks to Pau Gasol being in the right place. After being down six points with 32.6 seconds to play, Gasol scored off of a Derrick Rose missed basket with 9.4 seconds in the 4th quarter to silence the home crowd and a hungry Orlando Magic team.
The Bulls won 98-97 to win a second straight game on the road to end their lengthy road trip on a positive note. The Bulls had a 16 point lead early in the second quarter but saw that margin slip away.
“You want to be a good team, you’re going to find different ways to win and that what I did like about tonight,” Coach Tom Thibodeau said.
The Magic had six players score in double figures led by Victor Oladipo’s 18 points. Tobias Harris scored 15 points and pulled in 8 rebounds.
However, Chicago (32-20) shot well from the floor (48.1%) and got another strong game from All-Star game bound Gasol who had his 12th consecutive double-double with 25 points and 15 boards. Guard Jimmy Butler led the team in scoring again with 27 points in 40+ minutes. He made the All-Star team as a reserve. Joakim Noah had a very good game, scoring 18 points and grabbing 9 boards. Derrick Rose chipped in with 10 points on 4-14 shooting. Once again, Taj Gibson only had two points and three rebounds in 22:05 minutes played.
Orlando out-rebounded the Bulls 45-35. The Bulls return on Tuesday night for a home game at the United Center in Chicago. The Bulls have a few games before the All-Star game break, a break that they can use.