Bulls 105, Magic 90

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CHICAGO (AP)—Kirk Hinrich did plenty to help the Chicago Bulls’ offense, but it was his work on defense that impressed his coach.

Hinrich scored 18 points and had nine assists, and Eddy Curry added 22 points in Chicago’s 105-90 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

Hinrich has figured out how to guard Orlando’s Steve Francis, who was held to 12 points on 3-for-12 shooting. Cuttino Mobley was also kept in check, scoring six points on 2-of-10 shooting.

“Francis is right up there one on one with one of the hardest guys to guard, and for whatever reason Kirk has been able now to keep him in front and make him take tougher shots,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said.

Grant Hill scored 16 points for Orlando, which lost its third straight overall and fifth straight on the road.

“It was tough,” Francis said. “There’s nothing you can really say. We didn’t play hard. And it started with the starters.”

The Bulls erased an early seven-point deficit with a 19-2 run in a five-minute span of the first quarter. Curry scored 11 points in the opening period and Hinrich added eight points.

“We were lucky enough to get on them early and we kind of coasted the rest of the way,” Hinrich said.

The Bulls closed out the second quarter with an 11-3 run. Ben Gordon and Hinrich hit 3-pointers to help Chicago to a 60-37 lead at the break.

“The last three games we just haven’t started ballgames the way you need to start them,” Orlando coach Johnny Davis said.

Dwight Howard scored 10 points and had 12 rebounds for Orlando.

Hinrich led Chicago with 16 points and five assists in the half, and Curry added 15 points and five rebounds.

Luol Deng scored seven straight points late in the third quarter on a putback, a three-point play and a driving layup to give Chicago its biggest lead at 82-49. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Gordon had 18 points in a reserve role for the Bulls.

Because of the large deficit, Hill and Francis sat out the fourth quarter.


The Magic activated center Kelvin Cato before the game and placed forward Michael Bradley on the injured list with a strained hamstring. Cato scored 13 points. … The Bulls scored a season-high 60 points in the first half. … Curry collided with Orlando’s Mario Kasun as the two scrambled for a loose ball in the fourth quarter. Kasun hit his head on Curry’s thigh and didn’t return.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
D. Howard D. Howard
4-9,  10 Pts
12 Rebs, 2 Assists
K. Hinrich K. Hinrich
6-13,  18 Pts
4 Rebs, 9 Assists

Team Stat Leaders