Preview: Magic at Bulls

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[November 07, 2016]  The Chicago Bulls looked ready to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers for Eastern Conference supremacy the first three games but resembled a lottery team in the next three. The Bulls will continue trying to figure out what type of team they have when they host the Orlando Magic on Monday.

Chicago averaged 113.7 points and outscored its opponents by 17.7 points in the first three games but is falling on hard times while scoring 99.3 points and being outscored by 12.3 points in the last three contests, capped by a 111-94 loss at Indiana on Saturday. Dwyane Wade suffered through his worst game of the young season at Indiana, scoring four points on 1-of-9 shooting in 22 minutes. The Magic are trending in the opposite direction with three straight wins following three losses to begin the campaign. "That just shows progression and itís big toward what weíre trying to do here," Small forward Jeff Green told the team's website. "It shows that we have the ability to bounce back from where we started. It shows growth and improvement. We have to keep building from this, grow and right the wrongs. We have to be prepared for whatís to come and grow."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), WGN (Chicago)

ABOUT THE MAGIC (3-3): Orlando's 88-86 win over Washington on Saturday featured a big night from the reserves as Green scored 18 points and Bismack Biyombo added nine points and 12 rebounds. "With that second unit, we moved the ball and the communication was really good," Biyombo told the team's website. "We were moving the ball side to side and finding the open man and thatís who was going to take the shot. We didnít force anything." Biyombo is picking up some of the slack for starting center Nikola Vucevic, who slumped to a total of 16 points on 7-of-17 shooting in the last two games.

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ABOUT THE BULLS (3-3): Chicago is trying to figure out where its offensive production is coming from on a nightly basis and was outscored 31-15 in the first quarter on Saturday and never recovered. Wade, who scored 35 points against New York in a loss on Friday, was the most obvious starter struggling, but Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler were slow out of the gate as well and finished with a combined 10 turnovers. "Teams are starting fast against us," Wade told reporters. "We have to do a better job of communicating and paying attention to detail. We are not moving the ball early on and that is hurting us."


1. Magic PG Elfrid Payton is 5-of-21 from the field, including 1-of-8 from 3-point range, in the last two games.

2. Bulls F Bobby Portis scored 16 points on Saturday after totaling 12 in the first five games.

3. Orlando took two of the three meetings last season but fell in its lone trip to Chicago.

PREDICTION: Bulls 103, Magic 95

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