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BASKETBALL

Bulls cruise in Orlando

Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng netted 22 and 18 points, respectively, on a combined 19-of-26 from the floor to lead the Bulls to a 102-84 rout of the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.

Marco Belinelli had 16 points while Kirk Hinrich added 14 and four assists for Chicago, which had lost four of five entering Monday's action. Nate Robinson dished out seven assists off the bench.

"I thought Luol set the tone at the beginning of the game, making a lot of good plays," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought Kirk ran the team great. We had a lot of people step up and play very effectively."

Nikola Vucevic provided a spark for Orlando, tallying 17 points and 14 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive end. Tobias Harris led the Magic with 20 points and Maurice Harkless chipped in 16.

"Their intensity was just at a different level than ours and it shows us how much better that we have to get and how much harder we have to play," Harkless admitted. "We're a young team, and we have to learn how tough it is playing against these playoff teams."

With the loss and a Bobcats win over the Knicks earlier Monday, Orlando and Charlotte have moved into a tie for the worst record in the NBA at 20-61.

The Magic led 23-21 after the first quarter which featured four lead changes and two ties. Vucevic shot 4-for-6 for eight of his 17 points in the period.

The home team led until the 5:37 mark of the second stanza when six straight points from Boozer sparked a 20-6 run by Chicago. The Bulls shot 66.7 percent from the floor and connected on all three 3-point attempts in the period and went into halftime leading 49-37.

Chicago extended its lead to 20 early in the third quarter thanks to eight quick points from Belinelli to remove all hope for a Magic comeback.

The Bulls remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference but trail the idle Hawks by just a half-game. Chicago hosts Washington on April 17 in the regular season finale.

Game Notes

Joakim Noah returned to the Bulls lineup after missing 12 of his last 13 games with a foot injury ... Chicago connected on 9-of-17 from behind the arc while holding the Magic to just 2-of-10 ... The Bulls had 33 assists ... Chicago's Taj Gibson was the lone reserve to crack double figures for either team with 12 points.