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Bulls Struggle In Orlando

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah (photo credit: Getty Images)

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By ANTONIO GONZALEZ

Associated Press Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Vince Carter scored all of his 21 points in the first half and the Orlando Magic rolled past another preseason opponent, 105-67 over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

Dwight Howard had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and J.J. Redick scored 16 points to help the Magic (5-0) cruise to their 19th straight preseason victory. They held a 28-point halftime lead, went ahead by 38 through three quarters and as many as 47 in the fourth.

C.J. Watson had 13 points, and Derrick Rose had seven points in limited minutes for the listless Bulls, who shot 31 percent. Chicago has lost four of its six preseason games.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy rested most of his starters in the previous game but seemed content pushing players in this one. It was quite a contrast to Chicago.

The Bulls lost at home in overtime against Dallas a night earlier and didn’t arrive in Orlando until the early morning. And they played like it, too.

The Magic rode a wave of streaky shooting by Carter – who made his first three shots from beyond the arc – to go ahead 25-10 and quickly turn another exhibition game into a rout. The Bulls didn’t do much to counter, playing sluggish, sloppy basketball and showing little energy defensively.

Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau also relied on his reserves more than usual because starters such as Rose logged heavy minutes the night before. Not that his usuals fared any better.

Howard continued to draw double-teams from Chicago’s undersized frontline, Carter let loose with hard-driving layups and potent perimeter shooting and Orlando ran away with a 51-23 halftime lead that was never seriously challenged.

The Magic haven’t lost a preseason game since they were defeated by Atlanta in the 2008 opener. And they’re not just winning this season, they’re winning big.

Orlando has beaten its last three opponents by 38 (Chicago), 13 (Charlotte) and 54 (New Orleans). And 11 of the 19 victories during the preseason streak have come by double digits.

NOTES: Bulls F Taj Gibson missed his second straight game because of a sore right heel. Omer Asik started in his place. … Magic SF Mickael Pietrus missed the game with a sore right wrist, and SG Quentin Richardson sat out with because of stiffness. … Howard was whistled for his first technical foul of the preseason after arguing with officials. He protested a foul called on him for trying to block Joakim Noah’s layup early in the third quarter.

Updated October 16, 2010

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