Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/29

Game 1: Tuesday, November 29th
Magic76Final
Bulls85
Game 2: Wednesday, December 7th
Bulls102Final
Magic93
Game 3: Tuesday, March 28th
Magic97Final
Bulls93
Game 4: Monday, April 17th
Bulls116Final
OT
Magic112

Magic 97

(28-43, 8-29 away)

Bulls 93

(31-40, 16-19 home)

    Coverage: WCIU

    7:30 PM ET, March 28, 2006

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 27 22 24 2497
    CHI 33 24 25 1193

    Top Performers

    Orlando: J. Nelson 24 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk

    Chicago: A. Nocioni 26 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast

    Turkoglu hits key jumpers as Magic rally past Bulls

    CHICAGO (AP) -- To Keyon Dooling, the playoffs are more than just wishful thinking. They're a realistic possibility for the Orlando Magic.

    "We're definitely going to try to crash in on it," Dooling said. "We've seen some crazy things happen."

    And Tuesday's 97-93 victory over the Chicago Bulls only strengthened his belief.

    Jameer Nelson scored 24 points, Hedo Turkoglu hit two key jumpers in the closing minutes, and the Magic wiped out an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter on their way to their fourth straight victory.

    Ninth-place Chicago (31-40) trails Philadelphia by two games for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot and has two games left with the 76ers. The 11th-place Magic (28-43) remain a long shot to reach the postseason, after pulling within a game of Boston and three of Chicago.

    "We didn't have a realistic shot a few weeks ago," Turkoglu said. "But if you look at it now, we're a few games behind."

    The Magic simply choked out the Bulls in the fourth quarter, holding Chicago to 3-of-21 shooting and forcing five turnovers. Andres Nocioni was 2-for-2 in the quarter, but the only other field goal was Ben Gordon's 3 that made it a one-point game with 51 seconds left.

    The Bulls weren't much better at the free throw line, going 3-for-8.

    "This one is definitely frustrating," guard Kirk Hinrich said.

    Bulls coach Scott Skiles noticed a lack of confidence by the Bulls in the final quarter, saying his team was "very hesitant."

    Meanwhile, the Magic's confidence kept growing.

    Turkoglu gave Orlando its first lead since the opening minute when he hit a baseline jumper to make it 87-86 with 1:53 remaining, and Dooling followed with a 3-pointer.

    After Chicago's Ben Gordon missed a 3, Luol Deng missed two free throws with 1:07 left. The Bulls got the rebound and Gordon eventually hit a 3 to make it a one-point game with 51 seconds left.

    Turkoglu answered with a long jumper to make it 92-89 with 32 seconds remaining, and Deng missed a 3. Nelson and Chicago's Kirk Hinrich each hit 1-of-2 free throws before Dooling hit both foul shots to make it 95-90 with 9.4 seconds left.

    Nocioni hit a 3 to pull the Bulls within two with 7.4 seconds left, but Nelson converted two foul shots for the final score.

    Turkoglu and Dooling each scored 15 points.

    Nocioni scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Chicago, while Hinrich added 14 points and 12 assists. Deng also scored 14.

    "I'm a Nocioni fan," Dooling said. "I think he plays the game the right way. He plays it hard, nasty, with enthusiasm. He can will his way into a great game."

    The Bulls seemed to lose their will in the final period.

    After rallying in the fourth quarter to beat Boston on Sunday, they simply collapsed this time. They led 82-73 going into the final period, but fell apart after Nocioni's basket increased the lead to 11.

    Orlando scored six straight to pull within 84-79. The lead was down to 85-83 with 5:15 left in the game after Chicago's Tyson Chandler traveled and Darko Milicic dunked. And it was 86-85 after Milicic's finger roll with 3:01 left.

    The Bulls are 7-14 in games decided by four points or less.

    "We had open looks," Chicago's Chris Duhon said. "We've got to make our open shots and make our free throws. Somehow, we found a way to let it slip away."

    Game notes


    Magic F Grant Hill said he hopes rehabilitation will fix his sports hernia injury, and indicated he would consider retiring rather than undergo another procedure. "I've had enough [surgery]," said Hill, who had hernia surgery on Oct. 31. "But I think I can get back, hopefully, without having surgery." Although a return this season appears unlikely, the 33-year-old Hill would not rule it out. A seven-time All-Star, Hill has undergone six surgeries -- five on his left ankle -- since being acquired from Detroit in a sign-and-trade in August 2000. He is averaging 15.1 points in 21 appearances this season. ... Bulls F Malik Allen had eight points and eight rebounds after missing the previous two games with back spasms.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    ORL
    CHI
    Points 97 93
    FGM-FGA 36-75 (.480) 36-85 (.424)
    3PM-3PA 5-13 (.385) 6-19 (.316)
    FTM-FTA 20-27 (.741) 15-28 (.536)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-38 13-42
    Assists 17 21
    Turnovers 17 11
    Steals 3 13
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 6 19
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 11

    Top Performers

    Orlando
    Chicago
    Jameer Nelson Nelson
    Points: 24
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Andres Nocioni Nocioni
    Points: 26
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0