After a rough week of losing big to the Pacers and a disappointing loss to the Rockets, the Bulls needed a big win in Orlando to gain some confidence ahead of a big game against Miami. Bulls came into the game sporting a 12-7 record whilst the Magic are barely getting by at 4-15. In all fairness this IS a depleted Magic team with injuries to a lot of their starters. Even so, we learnt against the Rockets that no game is a guaranteed win.

A lot of the the pre-game talk was about the performances from Nikola Vučević and Wendell Carter Jr after the trade that saw them swap teams last season and it was these two who opened the scoring. WCJ with a 3 and Vučević responding with a 2. Over the course of the game WCJ would continue to cause problems for the Bulls as fans had expected but he was the only Magic player to do so.

The 1st quarter didn't start well for the Bulls as the Magic raced into a 18-11 lead but finished tied at 27-27 with Zach LaVine scoring 12 points. Coby White also deserves a mention for his start playing aggressively from the bench and putting up some key shots. The 2nd quarter started with Bulls going on a 16-0 run and the defense keeping the Magic scoreless for 4 minutes. WCJ was keeping his team in it but Coby White and co. continued their good play and the Bulls finished the half up 55-46

Bulls were playing some good ball with Lonzo Ball quietly going about his business and hitting some big 3's along with some key defensive plays. The 3rd quarter has recently been the Achille's heel and they couldn't let it happen again.

And they didn't.

They finished the quarter up 21 with a score of 90-69 with the story of the 3rd being DeMar scoring 12 points, 3-3 from the three point line, after a slow 1st half. He even managed a 4 point play after being fouled on a 3 pointer. One lowlight was Derrick Jones Jr fouling out in only 10 minutes of play but luckily it wasn't a huge loss.

The 4th quarter was basically don't lose the lead time for the Bulls and they did not disappoint. The Magic were beat and the Bulls knew it. After going up 30+, LaVine and DeRozan sat most of the 4th as well as the other starters and Donovan emptied his bench. Ayo was once again leading Bulls into the final minutes, dropping two 3s in the process and a final score of 123 - 88 Bulls.

LaVine and Demar both scored over 20 points with reduced minutes and White adding 20 from the bench is pleasing to see. It was a dominant performance you'd expect from the Bulls against this Magic team as it could have gone like the Rockets game.

Next up for the Bulls are the Miami Heat back at the United Center and it's going to be a tough one. The Heat come in having not played since Wednesday night after a loss to the Timberwolves and Bulls have another back to back.

This will be a real test for this Bulls team and one I'll definitely be tuning into here in the UK.

-Matt H. (Twitter: @matthearn1)

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