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Bulls at home tonight against Orlando

Throughout the first season of the Chicago Bulls'
rebuilding effort, coach Fred Hoiberg hasn't had much reason to
question his team's effort.
That's continued to be the case during the Bulls' recent rough
patch when they have lost eight of their past nine games while
playing without starting guard Kris Dunn. After Chicago snapped a
seven-game losing streak Friday with a win over the Minnesota
Timberwolves, they remained close against the Washington Wizards on
Saturday before fading down the stretch.
Chicago (19-36) was forced to play without guard Zach LaVine, who
is unable to play on the back end of back-to-backs while he
continues to move closer to 100 percent after coming back from a
torn ACL.
As the Bulls prepare to host the Orlando Magic tonight, LaVine will
attempt to keep Chicago's skid from continuing. But the frustration
of not being able to contribute as much as he would like still is
evident for LaVine.
"You get your rhythm that way, you know, playing back-to-back
nights," LaVine said on Saturday, according to the Chicago
Sun-Times. "But it's something I've just got to do for my safety
this year, and it sucks. I'm here supporting (my teammates) and I
think we have more than enough to win."
The Bulls played well enough in stretches Saturday to extend their
winning streak to two games. But Chicago failed to score for the
final 4:14 of the fourth quarter in a 101-90 loss to the Wizards.
Chicago missed its final seven shots while playing without LaVine,
who scored 35 points in the win over Minnesota on Friday.
"It had nothing to do with effort," Hoiberg told reporters
Saturday, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Our guys came out
after an emotional night. We hung in there and stayed in the game."
Orlando (18-37) enters tonight's game coming off a 111-104 loss to
the Milwaukee Bucks. The Magic were done in by erratic 3-point
shooting. After starting Saturday's game connecting on seven of
their first 13 attempts, the Magic then missed 14 straight shots
from beyond the arc.
The inconsistency ended up costing Orlando in the end. Jonathan
Simmons got the Magic to within two with a late 3-pointer, but
could never hit the shot they needed down the stretch.
"We just couldn't make a shot," guard D.J. Augustin told reporters
Saturday, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "We were getting good
looks. It happens. Some nights you're hot. Some nights you're not.
In that second half, we couldn't get anything to fall from there."
The Magic hope to bounce back tonight against the Bulls, who
continue to play without Dunn as he remains out with a concussion.
Whether the Magic can find more consistency in their shooting touch
after being disrupted by Milwaukee's length will go a long way
toward getting back on track in Chicago, which has beaten Orlando
twice this season.
Despite his team's inconsistency Saturday, Magic coach Frank Vogel
has seen a marked improvement in its play.
"This is what my teams should look like and this is what I demand
of them," Vogel told reporters Saturday, according to the team
website. "This is the standard of how we want to play -- whoever is
in uniform. We're going to play extra-pass basketball and build an
extra-pass culture and the competitive spirit on the defensive end
is going to be about fighting, getting loose balls and physicality.
It takes time for this stuff to develop, but it looks pretty good
right now because guys are competing at a high level."
Tonight's game can be heard on Good Time Oldies 1060.


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