Orlando, Day 5: Thomas boosts Bulls past Pacers

Courtesy of OrlandoMagic.com:

Led by a 22-point performance from Tyrus Thomas and 26 off the bench from Cedric Banks, the Chicago Bulls (2-3) closed out their week Friday at the Pepsi Pro Summer League with a victory over the New Jersey Nets, 92-77.

Thomas, whose high point performance entering the game was a 19-point outing on Wednesday against Miami, had 18 points in the first half against the Nets as Chicago went into the second half with a 48-42 lead. Banks also gave the Bulls a lift off the bench in the first two periods, scoring 13 points in 13 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, New Jersey was able to keep pace with the Bulls thanks to the backcourt performances of Antoine Wright (12 points) and Marcus Williams (15 points). Both teams shot well through the first two quarters as Chicago hit 55 percent (21-of-28) from the field and New Jersey nailed down 50 percent (13-of-26) of its first half attempts.

Despite 12 points in the third quarter from Marcus Williams, the Nets continued to lose ground to the Bulls and trailed 76-59 entering the fourth quarter.

Chicago's Luke Schenscher also had his best performance of the week, scoring 16 points and grabbing six boards as the Bulls finish the game by shooting 53 percent from the field.

New Jersey (2-3) was led by Marcus Williams' 27 points, while Antoine Wright added 14.

-- Matthew Gardner

Daniels leads hot-shooting Magic over Heat

Erik Daniels hit 8-of-9 shots and finished with 20 points as the Orlando Magic cruised to their largest victory of the 2006 Pepsi Pro Summer League, an 85-70 decision over the Miami Heat Friday afternoon. Daniels' hot hand was indicative of the entire squad, which shot over 50 percent from the field (52.5 percent) for the second consecutive day.

The Magic out-shot (46.4 percent to 36.1) and out-rebounded (20-11) the Heat in the first half of play en route to a 41-34 advantage at halftime. Daniels paved the way for Orlando, hitting all five of his shot attempts, including two from three-point territory, for 12 points while bringing down five rebounds.

The Heat started the second half with a 9-3 run in the quarter's first 2:51, knotting the game at 43-43, but it was all Magic the remainder of the period as they opened up their largest lead of the week, 65-49, while holding Miami to just six points the rest of the period.

Orlando put to rest any chance of a comeback from the Heat in the final 10:00 of the game, shooting 64.3 percent in the fourth en route to their third victory of the week.

Daniels was just one of five Magic players to reach double figures -- he was joined by Alpha Bangura (18), Marlon Palmer (15) and James Augustine and Joe Shipp, who each finished with 10. Marcin Gortat helped Orlando outrebound Miami 33-23, pulling in 10 off the glass.

Miami, who finished the week 2-3 in league play, were led by Earl Barron's 14 points. Barron was impressive in each of his five games in Orlando, finishing the week averaging 22.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

-- Melanie Curtsinger

Winning is a 'Snap' for Pacers
The Pacers pounced on the Bobcats in the last matchup of the week winning their third straight game 106-93, as the Pepsi Pro Summer League came to a close. Leading the Pacers once again was Jimmie "Snap" Hunter with 24 points and four assists, bringing his two-day total to 44 points and nine dimes. Damone Brown chipped in 20 points and eight boards.

Leading all scorers was the Bobcats' Adam Morrison with 27, capping off his first summer league experience, hitting 7 of 19 (36.8 percent). Morrison averaged 24.6 points per game this week to lead all scorers in the summer league.

The Pacers had no problem extending their lead to 13, 29-16, as the Bobcats shot a dismal 27.3 percent in the first quarter. The Bobcats bested the Pacers by three in the second quarter cutting their deficit to only 10, 43-53, going into the half. But, Charlotte lost Sean May for the rest of the game with 2:00 left in the second period after a strong drive to the basket resulted in a left ankle injury. The Pacers continued to hold the lead going into half, 53-34.

The third quarter saw back and forth spurts with the Bobcats cutting the lead to within five. But, they couldn't hold on and the quarter ended with the Pacers still holding the lead, 84-68. With 2:00 left in the fourth the Bobcats picked up the intensity with full-court pressure, but it was too little too late as the Pacers held on for a 106-93 victory.

The Pacers shot 59.3 percent in the contest, tallying the highest field goal percentage in a game this week. They also dominated the glass out-rebounding the Bobcats 33-24. The Pacers got 52 of their 106 points in the paint compared to only 32 from the Bobcats.

-- Amanda Norvell