National Basketball Association
Magic-Bulls Preview
National Basketball Association

Magic-Bulls Preview

Published Oct. 31, 2015 2:58 p.m. ET

While growing pains crept up on the Chicago Bulls in their first loss, the Orlando Magic would like to move past the hurt of their first two.

Each will try to push through their stunted growth with a Sunday night matchup in Chicago, where the Bulls have won 17 of the last 18 meetings.

A fast start made a coaching switch from Tom Thibodeau to Fred Hoiberg look seamless for Chicago, but a few stitches split open during Friday's 98-94 overtime loss to Detroit.

The Bulls (2-1) were denied their first 3-0 start since 1996-97 and sputtered in Hoiberg's new-look offense.


Derrick Rose's last-second shot at the end of regulation missed everything but the backboard, and after a dismal overtime, the Bulls were left with a ugly stat sheet.

Chicago started slow and finished at 40.5 percent shooting, committed 20 turnovers for the second consecutive game and was outrebounded on the offensive boards 20-8. It was a clear regression after opening the season with a 97-95 win over Cleveland on Tuesday before a 115-100 victory against Brooklyn on Wednesday.

"We came out lackadaisical," Jimmy Butler told the team's official website. "Can't happen. Not in this league... We were careless with the ball, making lazy passes, trying to catch the ball with one hand, trying to thread the needle."

Hoiberg was especially irked by his team's second straight 20-turnover game, a first for the Bulls since December 2010.

"It is going to be tough to win when that happens," said Hoiberg. "... We have to get that cleaned up."

Rose had five turnovers while playing with a mask and still some double vision due to an orbital fracture under his left eye. He started 0 for 6 while going scoreless through the first three quarters and milked 20 seconds off the clock before taking an errant fadeway to close regulation. His eight points all came in the last 6:28 of the fourth.

The Bulls will go for their ninth straight win at United Center before heading to Charlotte on Tuesday.

Orlando (0-2) will test its luck on the road after suffering two gut-wrenching losses at home. The Magic coughed up a five-point lead late in the fourth quarter of an 88-87 loss to Washington in Wednesday's opener, but that came nowhere close to the pain of Friday's 139-136 double-overtime loss to Oklahoma City.

Orlando blew an 18-point lead in the fourth before Russell Westbrook forced OT with a 38-foot heave at the buzzer, overshadowing Victor Oladipo's go-ahead 3 moments before. Oladipo forced a second OT with a last-second 3-pointer, but Orlando never led from there.

The young Magic posted two quality performances against elite competition and walked away with nothing to show for it.

"We have to put the pressure on ourselves to get better, sleep on this, be really (upset) about it and come back and play better," coach Scott Skiles told the team's official website.

Oladipo logged his second career triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists against the Thunder. Tobias Harris had 30 points and nine rebounds, while Nikola Vucevic added 26 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots.

The Magic lost 14 of their final 16 road games last season to finish 12-29 away from home.


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