Bulls beat Magic for ninth straight time

  Box score | Game recap | Game flow

CHICAGO -- Scottie Pippen had 22 points, 11 assists and six steals and Michael Jordan added 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as the Chicago Bulls breezed to a 110-89 victory on Sunday over the Orlando Magic, who have lost four straight games -- and perhaps their coach.

NBC Sports reported immediately after the nationally televised game that Hill had just coached his last game for the Magic. Orlando (24-24) is 0-4 since the All-Star break after winning 13 of 16 just prior to the break.

Grant & Rodman
Dennis Rodman of the Bulls battles Horace Grant for the rebound.
"He has not been fired," Magic general manager John Gabriel told NBC, adding that Hill would coach against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. Gabriel admitted that there is an ongoing team-wide evaluation.

Toni Kukoc added 20 points for the Bulls, who have won three in a row and 28 of 31, extending their league-best record to 45-6. Chicago also won its 16th straight home game and extended its mark at the United Center to 23-1, also the best in the NBA.

The Bulls never trailed after a free throw by Dennis Rodman gave them a 3-2 lead less than two minutes into the game. They led by as many as 26 points in beating the Magic for the ninth straight time, including a sweep in the 1996 Eastern Conference finals.

Anfernee Hardaway scored 20 points and Rony Seikaly added 17 for the Magic, who would face the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs if the teams remained in their current positions in the conference standings.

Pippen scored 14 points and Jordan 12 in the first half, when Chicago built a 58-46 lead. The Bulls then repelled two rallies by the Magic in the third quarter before putting away the game in the final period.

A free throw by Seikaly capped a 6-0 spurt and pulled Orlando to 60-52 with 8:39 left in the third quarter. But Chicago scored the next 10 points, with a 3-pointer by Ron Harper building the lead to 70-52 with 5:15 left.

Hardaway had two 3-pointers and two free throws to complete a 10-0 spurt that cut the deficit to 70-62 with 2:55 to go. But the Bulls scored nine of the last 12 points of the period and took a 79-65 advantage into the final 12 minutes.

Kukoc scored four points in an 8-2 run that widened the lead to 91-71 with 6:20 to play. A basket by Pippen gave Chicago its largest lead at 106-80 with 1:20 remaining.

Harper and Jason Caffey scored 10 points apiece and Rodman had 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who shot 50 percent (45-of-90) from the field and held a 53-30 rebounding cushion.

Dennis Scott had 15 points and nine rebounds and Brian Shaw added 10 points for the Magic, who shot 42.5 percent (31-of-73) and made 9-of-21 3-pointers.

Copyright 1996-1997 Starwave Corporation and ESPN Inc. All rights reserved. Duplicated and redistributed without permission.