"I don't think it should even be questionable from what I contributed to this team last season and what I did throughout camp, but like I said, he [Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro] is the guy that makes the decisions. Whatever decision he makes I still I have to go out and play," said Thomas, who had 22 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Minnesota on Friday after missing the four previous games with a bruised right hip.
In 25 minutes Monday, Thomas finished with 10 points and three rebounds.
Trailing 92-91, Anderson gave the Magic (6-0) the lead with a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left. After Brad Miller missed a jumper for the Bulls, Howard made two free throws to extend the lead to 96-92 with 21.2 seconds left.
Orlando's Vince Carter helped close out the game with two free throws with 7.2 seconds.
Howard had 10 rebounds and was 10 of 17 from the free throw line. Anderson had 18 points and Carter finished with 17.
Howard isn't making much of the perfect start.
"It's just preseason. We can't be 'We went undefeated in preseason.' Your record in the preseason play is meaningless," he said.
John Salmons led the Bulls (5-3) with 19 points and Hinrich had 18.
The Bulls played without Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose, who has not played since the preseason opener because of an inflamed tendon behind his right ankle. Rose is listed day to day and says he is at 80 percent, but Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said Rose may miss the Oct. 29 opener against San Antonio.
"It is possible he will not be ready for the opener against San Antonio. I hope he practices [Tuesday] but it is really day to day. I don't want to get him out there and have him sore the next day," Del Negro said.
Rose said there is no chance he will miss the opener.
"No way. I will be playing for sure," he said. "It's been kind of crazy. I'm kind of mad, but you see a lot of things. Defensive plays, offensive plays, who is open on offensive plays and who is supposed to move over on defense. You see a lot of things not playing, but it is killing me not to be out there."
Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy elected to not play forward Rashard Lewis, who is suspended by the NBA for the first 10 games of the regular season after testing positive for an elevated level of testosterone.
"We're not going to have him the first 10 games so we've got to see these other lineups," Van Gundy said. "I will get him in the next two games but he won't get a lot of time here because we need to get ready for the start of the season."
Orlando led 47-45 at halftime as Howard had 12 points and seven rebounds and Anderson added 10 points.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.