Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 1/1

Game 1: Saturday, January 1st
Game 2: Wednesday, April 6th
Game 3: Friday, April 15th

Magic 77

(35-44, 12-28 away)

Bulls 117

(45-34, 26-14 home)

    Coverage: CSNC

    7:30 PM ET, April 15, 2005

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 18 23 22 1477
    CHI 29 31 25 32117

    Top Performers

    Orl: S. Francis 16 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl

    Chi: C. Duhon 17 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bulls a game ahead of Wizards for 4th in East

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Eddy Curry is done for the season, but the Bulls don't show any signs of slowing down.

    Rookies Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni each scored 17 points to lead Chicago to a 117-77 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night as the Bulls had their largest victory margin of the season.

    On Thursday, Chicago learned that leading scorer Curry will miss the rest of the season with an irregular heartbeat. He will also be missing the team's first playoff appearance since 1998.

    The Bulls are 7-3 without Curry since he felt dizzy and lightheaded right before tip-off for a game in Charlotte.

    Chicago forward Tyson Chandler thought the news on Curry didn't have a major effect on the rest of the team.

    "I don't think it was bothering us, to tell you the truth. Not to down play the situation, but I felt like everybody was playing for him, regardless, and I think everybody will continue to do that, especially myself," Chandler said.

    Chandler is disappointed that Curry won't be able to play in the postseason with him. Both were drafted by the Bulls in 2001 out of high school.

    "It's our fourth year and we waited to be in this situation, it's a shame he is not going to be (there)."

    Curry started 60 games for the Bulls this season, averaging 16.1 points and shooting 54 percent in nearly 29 minutes per game.

    With the win, Chicago remained one game ahead of Washington for fourth place and home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

    The Bulls, who ended their two-game losing streak, have won 13 of their last 16 games.

    They bounced back from a 93-82 loss at Washington on Wednesday night with their biggest victory margin of the season. In Wednesday's loss they didn't have Nocioni, who was serving a one-game suspension for elbowing Detroit's Tayshaun Prince on Monday night. The Bulls also played most of the game without Chandler on Wednesday after he was ejected in the opening minutes for stepping on Washington's Brendan Haywood.

    "I just think it was about us being mature enough and coming out realizing how important this game was," said Antonio Davis. "We have to establish our momentum. We have another one (Atlanta) tomorrow."

    The Bulls never trailed and made quick work of the Magic. Nocioni, who had eight rebounds, scored on a driving layup to give the Bulls a 13-3 lead. Chris Duhon extended it to 18-7 on a 3-pointer. Chicago led 24-11 at the end of the first quarter as Duhon scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

    Duhon hit a 3 and extended Chicago's lead to 40-20 with 7:53 left in the second quarter.

    "I thought we were really sharp with the game plan tonight. We felt like we could get into the middle of the floor and make some plays against them. Right from the jump ball we were attempting to do that," said Bulls coach Scott Skiles.

    Duhon tied a career-high with 17 points and Chandler had 12 points and 14 rebounds.

    The Magic continued their late-season collapse and have lost six straight. Steve Francis led the Magic with 16 points, while DeShawn Stevenson and Stacey Augmon each added 15.

    "It was just horrible watching it from a player's standpoint," said rookie Dwight Howard. "I think it was effort. I don't think we gave 100 percent effort. We can't have mental lapses like that to be a good team in the long run."

    Kirk Hinrich hit a 3 and Jannero Pargo hit a jumper to give Chicago a 92-63 lead early in the fourth quarter. Duhon extended the lead with a breakaway layup, making it 98-65.

    Game notes

    Chicago was 3-0 against Orlando this season and swept the Magic for the first time since 1996-97. ... Magic forward Pat Garrity rolled his knee in the fourth quarter and was helped off the floor. He did not return. ... The Magic's worst defeat in franchise history was a 135-92 loss at Golden State on Nov. 16, 2002. ... Pargo tied his career high with nine assists. ... The 40-point win was Chicago's largest since a 111-69 victory over the Spurs on May 5, 1997.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 77 117
    FGM-FGA 31-91 (.341) 48-89 (.539)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 8-17 (.471)
    FTM-FTA 13-25 (.520) 13-20 (.650)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-47 13-57
    Assists 18 36
    Turnovers 16 15
    Steals 11 6
    Blocks 5 6
    Fast Break Points 16 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 1 44

    Top Performers

    Steve Francis Francis
    Points: 16
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Chris Duhon Duhon
    Points: 17
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0