Bulls vs Magic Preview and Free Pick [1/24/2017]

Chicago (22-23) at Orlando (18-28)
When: Tuesday, January 24th 2017
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: WGN, FSN Florida

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The Orlando Magic wrap-up a three-game homestand Tuesday night against the visiting Chicago Bulls at Amway Center. The Magic, who have split the first two games of their homestand, are mired in a big slump having come back from a dismal 1-5 road trip. Orlando has dropped 10 of its last 13 games and is allowing an average of 118.8 points in the last four defeats after falling to the Golden State Warriors 118-98 on Sunday. Small forward Aaron Gordon has been a model of inconsistency of late, scoring over 20 points twice in the last eight games while not reaching double-digits four times in that span. Gordon has been bad from 3-point range as well, hitting 1 of his last 18 covering four games. Point guard D.J. Augustin (ankle) left Saturday’s game and is day-to-day after X-rays came back negative. Guard Elfrid Payton (12.5 points) has scored 20 or more points in four of his last five games and had 10 assists against the Warriors on Sunday. Orlando will play their next three on the road starting Friday in Boston.


The Bulls begin a stretch of four games in six days with Tuesday’s game in Orlando being the only road contest. Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade combined for 53 points in Saturday’s 102-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings, one day after Wade tweeted an apology to Chicago fans for the team’s terrible play in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks the night before. Wade was the most outspoken after Friday’s 102-93 loss in Atlanta, during which he struggled to four points on 2-of-10 shooting in 20 minutes. Instead of taking the second night of the back-to-back off or playing limited minutes on Saturday, Wade logged 35 minutes, scored a team-high 30 points and made a pair of key steals down the stretch to seal the win over the Kings. Rookie small forward Paul Zipser scored a season-high 13 points on Saturday against Sacramento and is 5-of-11 from 3-point range over the last three games. Butler led the way with 20 points as Chicago blew-out Orlando 112-80 at home on November 7th. The Bulls will get a shot at avenging their Friday night loss when they host the Hawks Wednesday night.

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Orlando is slumping badly right now and Wade and Butler just got two days off. Chicago will be focused for this road contest and win easily.

Pick: Bulls -2.5