Bulls embarrass Magic 122-75, near playoff berth

CHICAGO (AP) - Emergency starter Jerian Grant had 17 points and a career-high 11 assists on Monday night, and the Chicago Bulls routed the Orlando Magic 122-75 to move closer to a postseason berth.

The Bulls led by as many as 47 points in their largest margin of victory this season. They would have clinched a playoff berth with a Miami loss to Cleveland, but the Heat's rally means Chicago will have until its final regular-season game. The Bulls host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

Chicago and Miami remained one game behind No. 7 Indiana after the Pacers beat the 76ers in Philadelphia. The Bulls (40-41) would claim a three-way tie if the teams finish with the same record.

Chicago scored 14 of the first 16 points en route to a 34-13 lead at the end of one quarter. Grant led the way with seven points, four assists and one steal.

Robin Lopez scored 18 points for the Bulls and Jimmy Butler added 17.

Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic each scored 14 points for the listless Magic, who shot 36 from the field in the first half and 34.5 overall.

The victory was the sixth for Chicago in its last eight games. Fifth-place Orlando lost for the seventh time in its last eight.


Magic: Vucevic grabbed 10 rebounds to move ahead of Shaquille O'Neal into second place in franchise history. Only Dwight Howard has more. ... The team had its streak of 100-or-more points snapped at 11 consecutive games, its longest since the 1994-95 season. ... F Jeff Green (sore lower back) sat out an eighth straight game.

Bulls: F Nikola Mirotic entered the contest with an average of 15.6 points per game in March and April compared to 9.3 before then.


G Rajon Rondo (sprained right wrist) sat out a third consecutive game but reported some improvement after a pregame workout. Grant replaced the team assists leader.

"It's better," reported Rondo, who met with a hand specialist earlier in the day.

Coach Fred Hoiberg called the injury "significant" with "a lot of swelling."

"He'll be able to increase activity to the point that he tolerates the pain," Hoiberg said. "He's not ready yet."


Magic: Host the Detroit Pistons in their season finale on Wednesday.

Bulls: Close their regular season at home versus the Nets on Wednesday.