Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Monday, November 3rd
Game 2: Wednesday, December 31st
Game 3: Tuesday, February 24th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 11th

Magic 113

(25-7, 12-4 away)

Bulls 94

(14-18, 10-4 home)

    Coverage: WGN

    2:00 PM ET, December 31, 2008

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 33 32 23 25113
    CHI 17 21 22 3494

    Top Performers

    Orl: H. Turkoglu 18 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Chi: J. Noah 19 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Magic take control early to cruise to victory over Bulls

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- The way he's pouring in the points, Rashard Lewis just might shoot his way into the All-Star game.

    Lewis set the tone by scoring 16 of his 21 points in the first half and the Orlando Magic rolled over the Chicago Bulls 113-94 for their eighth win in nine games.

    Fast Facts

    • Dwight Howard has a double-double in 23 of his 30 games this season and has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in 48 of his last 55 games.

    • Orlando has won five straight games in Chicago and has won 12 of its last 15 road games.

    • The Bulls are 1-6 vs. Southeast Division teams and have allowed more than 100 points in 10 of their last 13 games.

    -- ESPN research

    "Especially in the first half, I felt like I wasn't going to miss a shot," Lewis said. "When I missed one, I was more surprised than anything."

    His teammates were on target, too.

    Hedo Turkoglu added 18 points. Dwight Howard scored 15, and the Southeast Division leaders came through with a dominant performance after their seven-game win streak ended in a six-point loss at Detroit on Monday.

    Orlando took control as soon as the game started while sending the Bulls to their fourth loss in five games. The Magic led 33-17 after the first quarter, 65-38 at halftime, with Lewis and Howard leading the way.

    Lewis hit 6 of 8 shots in the first half, including 2 of 4 3-pointers. And although he cooled off in the second half, he still managed to eclipse the 20-point mark for the third straight game.

    "He's been leading our team in scoring almost all this month," Dwight Howard said. "He and Jameer (Nelson) are the reasons why we've been winning a lot of games."

    So yes, he thinks his teammate deserves an All-Star spot.

    Lewis simply said, "As long as we're successful as a team and we're winning, I have a better chance. The All-Star game is not going to get us to what we want to do, and that's get to the NBA championship."

    While Lewis controlled the perimeter, Howard dominated inside. The NBA's leading rebounder, he had 14 -- along with two blocked shots -- to lift the Magic to an easy win.

    The Bulls were coming off a 13-point win at New Jersey, but instead of building on that, they got blown out of their own building. Joakim Noah came through with a season-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. Larry Hughes scored 15 and Ben Gordon 18, but Chicago shot just 42 percent.

    Derrick Rose had a rough afternoon finishing with just 11 points and no assists.

    "I think we can play a lot better than we're playing right now," Gordon said.

    It's hard to imagine Orlando playing any better, though.

    After shooting just 40.3-percent against Detroit, the Magic hit 43 of 87 and jumped on the Bulls as soon as the referee threw the ball up for the opening tip. As the lead grew, so did the volume on the crowd's boos.

    And there was plenty to pick on, with Orlando grabbing a 16-6 lead just over four minutes into the game and the Bulls never recovering. Howard scored five of those points, and that helped open up the perimeter.

    "If Dwight's scoring, that opens it up for everybody else," Lewis said. "We can't just start the game by launching a bunch of jump shots. He's the anchor to our offense, and once we get him open, it opens up."

    Game notes

    Back after missing the previous two games because of his father's death, Illinois product Brian Cook scored two points in five minutes for the Magic with about 25 friends and relatives watching. Norm Cook, who starred at Kansas in the 1970s and got drafted by the Boston Celtics, battled paranoid schizophrenia for 30 years and died last week after slipping into a diabetic coma. He was in and out of mental institutions and was arrested several times for assault over the years. ... G Keith Bogans sat out the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle. ... G Mickael Pietrus will be out indefinitely after breaking his right wrist on a dunk against Detroit on Monday. ... Bulls F Luol Deng missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. F Drew Gooden was active after missing five games with a sprained right ankle but did not play.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 113 94
    FGM-FGA 43-87 (.494) 34-81 (.420)
    3PM-3PA 11-30 (.367) 6-15 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 16-21 (.762) 20-24 (.833)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-48 7-38
    Assists 24 19
    Turnovers 12 14
    Steals 8 4
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 4 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 19 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 33 0

    Top Performers

    Hedo Turkoglu Turkoglu
    Points: 18
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Joakim Noah Noah
    Points: 19
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1