Published April 05, 2013
CHICAGO – Nate Robinson scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Luol Deng finished with 19 after a slow start, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 87-86 on Friday night.
Robinson, who scored the go-ahead basket the previous night in a two-point win at Brooklyn, came up big down the stretch, offsetting a 27-point performance by Orlando's Beno Udrih.
He scored nine points during an 18-4 run that turned a five-point deficit into an 87-78 lead. Deng hit two 3-pointers during that stretch, and Robinson capped it with a long jumper as he crashed to the floor with 3:51 left.
The Bulls did not score again, but they managed to pull this one out, anyway, sending the Magic to their 12th loss in 13 games.
Orlando was within one after Robinson lost his dribble and DeQuan Jones broke the other way for a dunk with 1:33 remaining.
Deng then missed on a drive, and after Carlos Boozer stole the ball from Nikola Vucevic, Robinson missed a jumper with 25 seconds left.
Vucevic grabbed the rebound, and the Magic called time. With one more chance left, though, they gave it up again.
This time, a driving Udrih threw a bad pass that Jimmy Butler recovered in the corner for Chicago with about 10 seconds left. The Magic couldn't foul, though, until there were 0.2 seconds left because the Bulls kept the ball moving, preserving a narrow win.
Fifth-place Chicago moved within a game of Brooklyn for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Udrih scored 18 points in the third, hitting 6 of 9 shots and a pair of 3-pointers, and the Magic led by as much as eight in the period.
But Robinson, who hit the winning shot the previous night, started to heat up at the end of the quarter.
He stepped back and buried a fadeaway 3-pointer at the buzzer and started the fourth by nailing another shot from long range to pull Chicago within 70-69.
The Bulls were trailing 74-69 when Deng started the go-ahead rally with a 3. Robinson scored nine during that run, finishing it off with that long jumper after back-to-back 3s by Deng and Vladimir Radmanovic.
Notes: There was nothing new on the Derrick Rose front, with coach Tom Thibodeau saying, "The same. Just steady progress." He also said Richard Hamilton "has a ways to go," but Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli are "very close." ... Orlando's Maurice Harkless played just 8:22 because of a sore left knee. ... F Hedo Turkoglu missed his fourth straight game for personal reasons. ... The Magic have dropped 10 straight road games.