ORLANDO—Hold off, for now, on scheduling plans to attend a Grant Park rally next summer.
Temper whatever optimism Wednesday night's 106-100 victory over Orlando creates with the knowledge that the Magic is now 0-4 at home.
the Bulls shared the basketball, shot a high percentage and generally looked like the team many predicted would challenge for a playoff spot.
Behind 29 points and eight assists from Jamal Crawford and 25 points and 11 rebounds from Donyell Marshall, the Bulls snapped a nine-game losing streak at TD Waterhouse Centre and a 12-game road losing streak overall.
The Bulls hadn't won away from the United Center since last Feb. 18 in Cleveland.
Flying home on the team charter jet certainly will be easier for the Bulls without the weight of the world on their collective shoulders.
"That was a collective effort right there," Tyson Chandler said. "That's Bulls basketball."
Chandler once again came up huge, recording 22 points and nine rebounds while getting to the line 16 times in 45 minutes. Imagine what might happen without a bad back.
"Tyson is just awesome," Bulls coach Bill Cartwright said. "This guy is not only rebounding and scoring, but this guy has lifted our spirits. He's carrying us emotionally."
The Bulls shot a season-high 54.2 percent thanks in large part to them sharing the basketball and limiting their turnovers. Defensively, an effective zone limited Tracy McGrady to just four second-half points and shots.
When McGrady scored 14 first-quarter points, visions of last season's 52-point outburst floated into memory. But McGrady finished with 23, 4.7 below his average.
"I'm frustrated from the simple fact that the NBA needs to take out the zone," McGrady said. "It'll speed up a game. More points will be on the board."
The Bulls scored enough.
They led 95-84 on Marshall's three-pointer with 6 minutes 13 seconds remaining. Orlando chipped away, pulling to within 101-99 on Tyronn Lue's three-pointer with 62 seconds left.
But Jalen Rose, who sat on the bench as the Bulls made a fourth-quarter run without him, drained a huge three-pointer with 41.3 seconds to play.
"Sometimes, it takes a few games to find a rhythm with a group," Cartwright said. "The main thing was our intensity and how we competed. Our guys got after it."
About the only downers were the continued struggle of Eddy Curry and the lack of production from the bench, except for a 10-point effort from Kendall Gill.
Curry didn't play the game's final 19:31 because of poor defense and he finished with as many turnoversfouras points. Until he scored a third-quarter basket, he had gone seven quarters without a field goal.
"Nothing is happening for me," Curry said. "I don't know what's up."
Even though Corie Blount played 29 minutes to Curry's 18, Cartwright said Curry would start on Friday.
That's when the Bulls have a chance to build on this victory.
"We have to," Chandler said. "Everybody will now have a little different swagger. Previously, everyone was down. And that has a ripple effect. Now, we're feeling good."