Grades: Orlando Magic 83, Chicago Bulls 82 | Magic Basketball

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Dec 16

Grades: Orlando Magic 83, Chicago Bulls 82

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 83 Final
Recap | Box Score
82 Chicago Bulls

Nikola Vucevic
5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 BLK | 10 REB | 11 PTS | 0

When Vucevic steps onto the floor, you can pencil him in for a double-double almost every night. Matched up against Joakim Noah, one of the better centers in the NBA, Vucevic didn’t have much difficulty getting his numbers. But he did get outplayed by Nosh in crunch time when the Bulls made a late comeback attempt to almost steal a win.

Arron Afflalo
8-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 23 PTS | 0

Afflalo’s name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for an All-Star berth in the Eastern Conference and games like these are the reason why. Luol Deng is widely seen as an elite perimeter defender, yet Afflalo systemically destroyed him. He was drilling jumpers everywhere, with Deng draped all over him in many instances, and he did it efficiently. It was an eye-opening performance from Afflalo.

Glen Davis
6-15 FG | 2-4 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | +4

Big Baby is a poor offensive player and one of the main reasons why is because he struggles finishing in the paint. That was the case against the Bulls, as Davis shot 2-for-7 at the rim. But one of those two baskets ended up being a highlight-reel worthy play — Davis executed his patented spin move in the post on Boozer to free himself up for an uncontested layup.

Jameer Nelson
6-13 FG | 2-4 3P | 5 REB | 7 AST | 14 PTS | +9

Although Chicago has a top-five defense, they don’t have a rim protector like the Indiana Pacers do with Roy Hibbert or the San Antonio Spurs do with Tim Duncan. And Nelson was able to take advantage of that, knifing his way into the lane like a surgeon and making several layups off the dribble. The Bulls big men offered little-to-no resistance.

Chicago Bulls

Orlando was in complete control of this game for three-and-a-half quarters. Then with the Magic leading 78-67 with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter, Chicago went on a 12-2 run to pull themselves within a point with 19.4 seconds left. But after Afflalo split a pair of free throws, Deng missed a point-blank layup on the ensuing possession that would have tied things up. Ballgame.

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