ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Vince Carter had 23 points to help the Orlando Magic pull away early and cruise past the injured Chicago Bulls, 111-82 on Thursday night for a season-high seventh straight win.
Matt Barnes added 14 points, and reserve Brandon Bass scored 13 in another blowout victory against a struggling team for the Magic.
And one that was dealt a big blow.
All-Star point guard Derrick Rose sprained his left wrist in a midair collision with Dwight Howard in the first quarter and didn't return for the Bulls, the latest setback in a season that's quickly going sour. Taj Gibson and Hakim Warrick had 12 points apiece, not nearly enough to prevent Chicago's sixth consecutive loss.
The Magic have left their mark on the Bulls this season — a big bruise the last two meetings for Rose.
The speedy guard drove the lane hard for a layup in the final minute of the first quarter when he was knocked to the floor trying to finish over Howard, an almost identical play to the one that sidelined the Bulls star when the teams last met Feb 10. Rose clutched his lower back before slowly rising to his feet, making one of the free throws.
He stayed in the game before being taken to the locker room for an examination after the quarter. How long he could be sidelined was not immediately announced.
The Magic had their way without him.
Howard had an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Jason Williams. Marcin Gortat had a one-handed slam on an alley-oop from Williams. Four different Magic players made at least one 3-pointer.
And that was just in the opening half, with Orlando going ahead 65-33.
Things got so out hand that fans chanted at full throat, "We want Foyle," referring to 35-year-old third-string center Adonal Foyle, the only Orlando player who hasn't played this season. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was even booed after he didn't give in during a late timeout. Van Gundy could only chuckle.
After all, this was a laugher.
The Bulls were undermanned and outhustled by a Magic team playing its best basketball of the season. At a time when teams are trying to make a push toward the postseason, the Bulls couldn't be playing worse.
Or be missing so many key pieces.
They're already without their leading rebounder and inside defender, Joakim Noah, sidelined with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. And the Bulls' second-leading scorer, Luol Deng, is out with a strained right calf.
The injuries have led to poor play and pushed Chicago out of the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. The Bulls are 1½ games behind Miami, Charlotte and Toronto for the eighth seed.
The Magic moved 4½ games behind first-place Cleveland — and 4½ ahead of Boston — in the East. They have taken advantage of talent-deprived and injury-riddling teams the past two weeks.
Mixed in with a big win against the Lakers, the Magic have beaten the Clippers, Golden State, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami during their streak.
NOTES: Magic backup SF Mickael Pietrus missed the game with a strained neck. He is day to day. ... Yankees ace CC Sabathia was sitting in the front row on the baseline for the third straight Magic home game.