The Chicago Bulls (4-3) broke its three-game losing streak in a big way vs. the Orlando Magic (3-4), 112-80 on Monday night.
The Bulls woke up from its short-lived stupor with an invigorating rout of the Magic at the United Center. When F Jimmy Butler plays relatively well, the Bulls can do some good things. Butler scored 20 points, and went 10-10 from the free-throw line. Dwyane Wade added 16 points on 7-12 shooting. And Taj Gibson had another strong game in the low post with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bulls out-talented the Magic in this game. It was just the tonic that the Bulls needed. The Bulls have had flashes where one can see a playoff pedigree. But that doesn’t last too long. Last night they beat an over-matched team. That happens in the NBA. What happens when the Bulls face the San Antonio Spurs or the Golden State Warriors?
Monday night the Bulls took a first quarter lead and were never headed. The lead expanded in the third quarter when the Bulls outscored the Magic 27-11 points. Doug McDermott hit a trey in a flurry of action to put the game out of reach late in the game.
Chicago shot 47% from the floor. The Magic hit 39% of its shots. The Bulls controlled the glass, out-rebounding the Magic 56-39.
Aaron Gordon scored 15 points for the Magic. Guard Evan Fournier had 13 points.
Chicago goes on the road for eight out of the next nine games. If the Bulls can survive this trip, it will help them better manage the first half of the season. This is a good opportunity to discover what this team is made of.