Once again, Derrick Rose returned from a knee injury. Once again, the Bulls gave up a large lead to a bad team and came away losers. Once again, Thibodeau’s rotations were confusing and counter intuitive. Once again, the Bulls are on track to face Washington in the first round
After a very energetic first six minutes, Derrick Rose (9 points, 3-9 shooting) seemed to lose his legs a bit. He shot too many threes, but otherwise seemed to be no worse for the wear. Jimmy Butler (6-10, 19 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds), Taj Gibson (6-12, 15 points), Pau Gasol (4-10, 15 points, 9 rebounds), Nikola Mirotic (3-11, 15 points), and Aaron Brooks (5-11, 13 points) paced the Bulls, who now fall to fourth in the East by virtue of losing a tiebreaker with Toronto.
For the Magic, Victor Oladipo (8-14, 23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Nikola Vucevic (9-16, 22 points, 7 rebounds) led the way, with contributions from Elfrid Payton (6-14, 17 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists), and Evan Fournier (3-7, 11 points) to lead them to their 2nd victory in three tries against Chicago, and their 24th win overall.
The Bulls play again tomorrow night in Miami.
Player(s) of the Game: Jimmy Butler.