Howard powers Magic past Bulls
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Dwight Howard posted 27 points and 11 rebounds
to lead the Orlando Magic over the Chicago Bulls, 109-94.
“That’s going to be our team every night,” Orlando coach Brian Hill said. “We
want to play inside-out and we want to try to establish Dwight’s presence at
the post and see how the teams are going to try to defend him, whether they
are going to double team him, whatever the case may be.”
Grant Hill scored 19 points for the Magic, who won their season opener. Jameer
Nelson added 21 points and Hedo Turkoglu notched 11 points and seven boards.
Ben Gordon scored 24 points for the Bulls, who opened the 2006-07 season with
a 108-66 rout of Miami at American Airlines Arena Tuesday. Kirk Hinrich netted
14 points and rookie Thabo Sefolosha contributed 13 points.
Chicago swingman Tyrus Thomas broke his nose during a collision in the second
half of Chicago’s season opener in Miami and returned to Chicago to get a mask
specially made for him on Wednesday. He did not play though against Orlando.
“We got worked in every aspect of the game,” Chicago coach Scott Skiles said.
“They dribbled better, passed better, shot better. Our defense was totally
flat-footed mostly the whole game.”
Orlando opened the game with a 12-3 run capped by a pair of Hill free throws
with 7:33 left. The Magic continued to control the game down the first-quarter
stretch and led 32-20 heading into the second.
Orlando went on a 15-6 spurt midway through the second capped by a Nelson
layup with 3:44 remaining and outscored the Bulls by six points in the quarter
for a 63-45 halftime advantage.
With a 12-point lead in the third quarter, Orlando took off on a 15-2 run
capped by a pair of Darko Milicic free throws with 4:39 left.
Malik Allen then scored a layup that sparked a 10-1 Bulls spurt and Chicago
managed to shave two points off its deficit in the third to trail 86-70
heading into the fourth.
Chicago outscored Orlando by just one point in the final period, however, as
the early Magic lead proved insurmountable.
The Magic won despite committing 23 turnovers compared to just 15 by Chicago.
The Magic have dropped six of eight and nine of the last 12 meetings with
Chicago. They also ended a five-game home losing streak in the series.