Boozers leads Bulls' bigs in 96-94 win over Magic

Boozers leads Bulls' bigs in 96-94 win over Magic
January 2, 2013, 9:48 pm
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ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 2: Carlos Boozer #5 of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball during the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic on January 2, 2013 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Carlos Boozer had a season-high 31 points and 11 rebounds, Luol Deng scored 23 points and the Chicago Bulls hung on to beat the Orlando Magic 96-94 on Wednesday night.

Taj Gibson added 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who played without center Joakim Noah. Chicago was outrebounded 37-34 in Noah's absence but exploited an injury-plagued Magic front court, outscoring them 42-32 in the paint.

Jameer Nelson missed a leaning jumper in the closing seconds that would have tied it, sending Orlando to its seventh straight loss overall and fifth in a row at home.

Nelson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore hip and scored a season-high 32 points. Nik Vucevic finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Arron Afflalo added 19 points for the Magic.