The Bulls (35-28) got as close as three points with 5:30 left in the third quarter Wednesday at Miami before falling apart and losing 103-70 - their most lopsided defeat of the season.
Chicago went 0-for-10 from the floor with five turnovers in the final 5 1/2 minutes of the third quarter as the Heat halted the Bulls’ three-game winning streak.
“We just weren’t playing very smart out there,” said Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, who had 11 points but also matched his season high with six turnovers for the second straight game. “I don’t know how else to explain it.”
Ben Gordon led the Bulls with just 14 points against the Heat, one game after scoring a career-high 48 in a 126-121 overtime win at Milwaukee on Sunday.
This is the third of a four-game road trip for Chicago, which has alternated losses and wins in its last seven games away from home but is only 11-20 away from the United Center this season.
The Bulls lost 109-84 at Orlando on Nov. 1, a game which started an eight-game road losing streak.
Howard had 21 points and 16 rebounds in that contest, while Milicic also had 16 boards to go with 14 points and blocked five shots. Wallace, meanwhile, managed just three points and eight rebounds .
“They did a good job of playing off each other,” Wallace said after the Feb. 26 meeting. “That’s what this league is all about. You go to one guy and somebody else steps up.”
The Bulls will need a better performance from Wallace in handling the talented Howard, who is averaging 23.3 points and 13.7 rebounds in his last three games versus Chicago.
The Magic (29-33) are looking to win consecutive games for the first time in more than a month after beating the Bucks 99-81 at home on Monday. They haven’t won back-to-back games since beating Milwaukee and New Jersey at home Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, posting a 4-11 record since.
Turkoglu led Orlando with 25 points, made 10 of 14 shooting field-goal attempts and added a season-high nine rebounds in Monday’s win, which halted a three-game slide.
The swingman has developed a hot hand in the last three games, shooting 69.4 percent (25-for-36) from the field and averaging 22.0 points.
“I knew my shot was eventually going to come around,” Turkoglu said. “It’s just a matter of confidence and getting the shot to fall. I might have relied too much on the jump shot, but I’ve been mixing up the drives with jumpers, and now it seems to be clicking.”