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Gasol’s late dunk lifts Bulls to 98-97 victory over Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Pau Gasol dunked in the rebound of Derrick Rose’s missed layup with 9.4 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls rallied for a 98-97 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night.

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 27 points, and Gasol finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Joakim Noah added 18 points and nine rebounds.

Chicago led by as many as 16 points, before finding itself in a six-point hole with just over 2 minutes to play.

The Magic had two opportunities to win the game in the closing seconds. But Nik Vucevic’s hook rolled off the rim, and Tobias Harris overshot a potential game-winning tip-in as time expired.

Victor Oladipo led six Orlando players in double figures with 18 points. Harris added 15, and Vucevic 14.

After playing catch-up for most of the second half, Orlando benefited from a frenetically played fourth quarter.

Elfrid Payton scored his sixth consecutive point on a driving layup to put the Magic in front 92-91 with 3:43 remaining.

That was followed by a steal and 3-pointer from Channing Frye, and layup by Oladipo that extended that lead to 97-91.

The Bulls came up empty on their next offensive trip, but Butler stepped in front of Oladipo’s pass as Orlando came down the floor, forcing Harris to grab him and commit a clear-path foul.

Butler hit both free throws, then on the ensuing possession found Rose free for a 3-pointer at the top of the key to pull Chicago within 97-96.

Orlando’s Evan Fournier then got caught in a trap at halfcourt and was called for a backcourt violation with 15.5 seconds left.

Coming out of a timeout, Rose drove around Kyle O’Quinn in the corner, and nearly rolled in a floater. But Gasol was there for what turned out to be the game-winner.

The Bulls shot 51 percent (20 for 39) in the first half.

Orlando missed eight of its first nine shots, but was down just five at the half after getting 18 points from its bench and 12 second-chance points.

TIP-INS

Bulls: Chicago had 27 assists on 37 made field goals. … Mike Dunleavy (right ankle) missed his 19th straight game. Kirk Hinrich sat out with a left turf toe injury he sustained against New Orleans on Saturday.

Magic: Orlando committed 18 turnovers that led to 24 Chicago points. … The Magic recalled rookie G Devyn Marble from his Feb. 2 assignment to the D-League Erie BayHawks. It was Marble’s second stint in Erie. He has played four games there this season, averaging 17 points and 5.8 rebounds.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host Sacramento on Tuesday.

Magic: Visit Washington on Monday.

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