"He's done it before, so we have experience with him sitting
over there for long periods of time and coming in and getting
hot," coach Scott Skiles said after the third-year pro scored a
season-high 23 points in a 102-93 win Wednesday night.
"There are times when he doesn't get hot and times when he
does. When he does, he can really get it done. His performance
tonight was a huge factor in the game."
Luol Deng also made a key contribution off the bench with 22
points on 8-for-16 shooting and 10 rebounds.
Getting more playing time in the absence of Kirk Hinrich, who
sustained a concussion when he took an elbow to the face from
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki on Monday night, Pargo was 9-of-13, including
5-of-8 on 3-point attempts.
"This league is all about opportunities," said Pargo, who had
only appeared in four games before Wednesday night.
"I haven't been playing in the games, but I have been playing
in practice. I have been coming in early and staying late, working
on my shot and working on my game. I had an opportunity to come out
and show it, and I took advantage of it."
The Bulls, who snapped a two-game losing streak, put away the
game with an 11-1 run after the Magic trimmed an 11-point deficit
to 86-82 with just over 5 minutes to go. The closest Orlando got
after that was seven in the final minute.
Dwight Howard had 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Magic, who
have lost five straight by an average of 17 points.
Steve Francis returned after missing three games because of a
bruised chest and scored 16 points, but also had six of Orlando's
season-high 23 turnovers before fouling out with 1:36 left.
"A very discouraging loss," Orlando coach Brian Hill said.
"I thought we played pretty decent basketball in the first
half, but we still had way too many turnovers. As long as we
continue to the turn the ball over at the rate we're turning it
over, we're not going to improve."
Chicago trailed 51-44 at the half, but began the third quarter
with a 10-0 run to take control of the game. Pargo made three
3-pointers and scored 11 points during a 20-9 surge that put the
Bulls ahead 79-68 heading into the fourth quarter.
Michael Sweetney scored 12 points and Ben Gordon and Andres
Nocioni finished with 11 apiece for Chicago, which beat Orlando for
the second time in eight days and fifth straight time overall. The
Bulls' reserves outscored the Magic's 59-24.
"We played how we had to to win," said Skiles, who used a
small lineup much of the second half because center Tyson Chandler
wasn't feeling well and wound up playing less than five minutes.
Pargo's career high is 34 points. ... The Bulls made 10 of
20 3-point attempts. ... Howard, who turns 20 on Thursday, has made
100 consecutive starts to begin his NBA career. ... Chicago
outscored the Magic 35-17 in the third quarter to turn its
seven-point halftime deficit into an 11-point lead. ... Pargo
entered the game averaging 4.0 points.