Chicago Bulls Fall Short in Another Comeback Attempt, Lose to Orlando Magic

Bulls’ Struggles Continue as They Suffer Their Third Straight Loss

The Chicago Bulls’ early-season struggles continued on Friday as they fell short in their comeback attempt against the Orlando Magic, losing 103-97 at the United Center. This marked the Bulls’ second consecutive defeat to the Magic and their third straight loss overall. The team’s record now stands at 4-9, and they have also suffered two losses in the NBA In-Season Tournament. Here are five key takeaways from the game.

Alex Caruso Starts Strong but Exits Midgame

Bulls guard Alex Caruso made an immediate impact after being inserted into the starting lineup. He drained three 3-pointers, recorded a block and steal, and helped the Bulls take an early lead. However, the team struggled whenever Caruso was on the bench, and his absence was sorely felt. Unfortunately, Caruso had to exit the game in the third quarter after injuring his right hand while diving for a loose ball. Despite the injury, Caruso returned to the game in the final minutes and made a significant impact.

Stagnant First Half Raises Concerns

The Bulls’ slow starts have become a recurring issue this season, and it was no different in this game. They scored only 33 points in the first half, shooting just 22.6% from the field. The team also committed 12 turnovers, which the Magic capitalized on. This lackluster performance in the first half has raised serious questions about the team’s ability to start games strong and find their rhythm early on.

Zach LaVine Leads Second-Half Rally

Despite their struggles in the first half, the Bulls mounted a comeback in the second half, largely thanks to the efforts of Zach LaVine. He scored 13 points in the third quarter, and DeMar DeRozan added 11, helping the Bulls cut the Magic’s lead to 12 points by the end of the quarter. In the fourth quarter, LaVine continued to shine, scoring 12 points and bringing the Bulls within one point of the lead. However, their efforts fell short as the Magic regained control and sealed the victory.

Lack of Bench Scoring Adds to Woes

While the Bulls’ star players, LaVine, DeRozan, and Caruso, had solid performances, the lack of production from the bench was a significant issue. The bench scored only eight points, with Torrey Craig and Andre Drummond contributing the majority of those points. Moving Caruso into the starting lineup disrupted the bench’s usual playmaking and distribution, and the lack of scoring from the second unit put additional pressure on the starters.

Implications for the In-Season Tournament

With their loss to the Magic, the Bulls now have a 0-2 record in the NBA In-Season Tournament, placing them at the bottom of Eastern Conference Group C. The Boston Celtics currently lead the group with a 2-0 record. The Bulls have two remaining games in the group stage, but their chances of advancing to the quarterfinals are slim. This tournament has presented an opportunity for teams to gain momentum and confidence, but the Bulls have struggled to capitalize on it.


The Chicago Bulls’ early-season woes continued as they suffered their third straight loss, falling short in their comeback attempt against the Orlando Magic. Despite a strong start from Alex Caruso and a second-half rally led by Zach LaVine, the team’s stagnant first-half performance and lack of bench scoring proved to be their downfall. With their second loss in the NBA In-Season Tournament, the Bulls’ chances of advancing to the quarterfinals look bleak. As the team searches for answers, they must address their slow starts and find a way to generate consistent production from their bench.






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