December 21, 2017 / 4:09 AM / 8 months ago

Bulls win seventh in a row by routing Magic

CHICAGO — Denzel Valentine scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Kris Dunn and Nikola Mirotic each scored 15 points as the Chicago Bulls won their seventh straight game with a 112-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

The Bulls (10-20) have not lost since they snapped a 10-game losing streak on Dec. 8. Chicago never trailed Wednesday to extend their streak, which is the longest active string of victories in the Eastern Conference.

Bobby Portis finished with 14 points to go along with 13 from Jerian Grant while Robin Lopez also reached double figures for Chicago with 10 points. Mirotic, who has fueled the Bulls over the last seven games since returning from injuries that forced him to miss the first 23 games of the season following a fight in practice with Portis, also grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Magic (11-21) played without three opening-night starters, including leading scorer Evan Fournier, and lost their sixth straight game. Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Elfrid Payton and D.J. Augustin finished with 14 points. Mario Hezonja also reached double figures for Orlando with 12 points.

Chicago, which finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field, opened the game on a 12-0 run and led by as many as 30 points. The Bulls used its balanced scoring attack to maintain a double-digit lead and again used an impressive effort from its bench, which contributed 54 points in the victory.

Chicago led 59-48 at the half.

NOTES: Magic G/F Evan Fournier missed his sixth straight game because of a right ankle sprain. Fournier has made progress in his recovery and has participated in non-contact practice drills the past few days, but still isn’t ready to play after sustaining the injury Dec. 6. ... F Aaron Gordon (strained right calf and bone bruise) also missed Wednesday’s game. Coach Frank Vogel said the injury is a “little better” and that it’s “eating (Gordon) alive not to be out there”. ... Magic G Arron Affalo returned for Wednesday’s game after missing the last three games with back spasms. ... Bulls G Zach LaVine will return to practice soon after dealing with back spasms. LaVine remains on a January timetable to return to game action from a torn ACL. ...The Bulls started the game with 12 straight points and led after the first quarter for the 10th time in their last 12 games.

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