Enhanced Box Score: Magic 108, Bulls 107 -- November 18, 2022

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Enhanced Box Score: Magic 108, Bulls 107 — November 18, 2022

Chicago Bulls

Zach LaVine shot 1-for-14 on the night, easily one of the worst shooting nights of his career. Patrick Williams had DeMar DeRozan visibly frustrated with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter after he — stop me if you’ve heard this before — hesitated on a wide-open look and got called for a travel while trying to kick it to DeRozan.

Both spent the closing minutes of the game on the bench, the Bulls’ $215 million man and the No. 4 overall pick in the first draft of the AKME era in Chicago, benched down the stretch of a tight must-win game.

DeMar DeRozan did his thing, in the second half at least, willing the Bulls back from a 19-point deficit against the lowly Magic. DeRozan scored 15 points in the third quarter alone, but it was Javonte Green who stole the show tonight.

After being benched for the entire first half and most of the third quarter, Javonte Green came into the game and injected a shot of life into the Bulls, forcing turnovers, making plays on the offensive end, and locking down the victory with not one but two slam dunks in the final minute of the game making it a 107-103 Bulls lead with 26.5 seconds to play.

Unfortunately, Green’s effort wasn’t enough in the end. Jalen Suggs scored five points in the final 20 seconds tonight to lift the Magic over the Bulls, even after Orlando blew a 19-point lead down the stretch.

Even if the Bulls would have held on, the fact that Javonte Green had to have the half of a lifetime is a significant problem for the Bulls.

Bulls head coach Billy Donovan sent a message to his big three before Friday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, and it was plain and simple: You go, we go. Donovan said that if the trio of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vučević aren’t playing at the top level of their game, the Bulls aren’t going anywhere.

“I’ve got a lot of respect on a lot of levels for Vooch and DeMar and Zach and who they are as players. We’re never going to be as good as we can be as a team until those three guys really drive the opening part of the game,” Donovan said before Friday’s home game against the Orlando Magic (via NBC Sports Chicago). “It’s very easy to maybe look at Ayo being a young player or Patrick not being aggressive enough and say, ‘We’re just going to throw a guy in there.

“Those three guys are important to a team. And if we’re working around them, I don’t know if we can ever get to where we need to get to. I don’t mind saying this because I don’t look at it as pressure on them. It’s just what we have to do as a basketball team. That’s the expectation. That’s the standard. It’s not like it’s been every single game. But those inconsistencies are not going to allow us to be the team we want to be. Those three guys have to raise the level of everybody else around them.”

Donovan said that he urged his trio of All-Star teammates to raise the level of play and set the tone for the rest of the team, particularly early in games. Donovan wanted to see the Bulls come out strong rather than ease into a game and play from behind.

The Bulls big three responded by allowing the bruised and battered — and bad when healthy — Orlando Magic to score 37 points in the first quarter to take a 13-point lead over the Bulls. Here’s what the first quarter looked like for the trio:

  • DeRozan: 8 PTS, 3-7 (42%), 1 AST, 0 REB
  • LaVine: 0 PTS, 0-4 (0%), 1 AST, 0 REB
  • Vučević: 2 PTS, 1-2 (50%), 7 REB, 3 AST, 1 BLK

With a season-long six-game road trip — featuring stops in Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Utah, Phoenix, Golden State, and Sacramento — on tap, the Bulls absolutely had to win this game tonight.

If you weren’t worried about the Bulls before tonight, you should be hammering the panic button right now. Full stop: this was an inexcusable loss to the lowly Orlando Magic on the Bulls’ home court. The Bulls have major problems, folks, and tonight was the game that should have the alarm bells ringing in the front office.

You can find the complete box score here:



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.