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Thomas, Salmons, Miller shine in home debut as Bulls beat Magic

CHICAGO -- When slow-footed center Brad Miller picked off a pass and finished with a wobbly fast-break dunk in the second quarter, Derrick Rose just had to laugh.

"The takeoff was all right," the lightning-quick Rose said. "But the landing was horrible."

Just about everything went right for the Bulls in this game. Rose scored 22 to lead the Bulls, who got strong efforts from their three newcomers in a 120-102 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

The three Bulls acquired at the trade deadline combined for 37 points in their home debuts. Tim Thomas scored 17 points, John Salmons 11 and Miller had nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. All three came off the bench and each played more than 20 minutes.

"We have guys coming off the bench that know how to play," Thomas said. "That's very helpful. You've got guys in their second, third year that are out there with energy. When they get stuck, you bring in guys like myself, John and Brad, who understand how to get the job done. That's a huge thing."

The Bulls shot a season-high 56.5 percent, scoring the most points of a Magic opponent this season. New Orleans' 117-85 win last week set the previous high.

"From the outset of this game, we just weren't ready," recently acquired Magic guard Rafer Alston said. "They were able to score at will pretty much on every play they ran."

The Magic, who overcame Dwyane Wade's 50-point effort in a win Monday, trailed almost the entire way. Dwight Howard led Orlando with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had 16 points and Courtney Lee 14.

Orlando had 15 turnovers, got outrebounded 44-38 and gave up at least 30 points in three quarters.

Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy was upset all night. He had four subs start the second quarter after the Bulls took a 30-27 lead.

"Our starting lineup brought nothing to the game," he said. "I'm embarrassed and disgusted by what I saw. I don't know if our players are, but they should be.

"Our guys want to talk about being a contending team. We're still not tough enough and we don't play hard enough."

Each team had seven in double figures. Ben Gordon scored 20 points and Joakim Noah had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls.

"Everybody contributed," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. "The new players, Tim, John and Brad spaced the court for us a little bit. Ben was solid, Derrick, I loved his aggressiveness. Joakim was solid."

The Bulls shot 59 percent in the first half to grab a 63-52 lead.

Lee scored 12 points in the third quarter, hitting a jumper to cap Orlando's 8-0 run that cut the Bulls' lead to 83-82. J.J. Redick and Anthony Johnson hit consecutive 3-pointers before Lee's shot.

Rose, who had 14 points in the third, beat Lee on a drive and hit a jumper to give the Bulls an 87-82 lead going into the fourth quarter.

"I just didn't want to lose the game," Rose said. "We've had too many games that were close, or lost by buzzer-beater shots or something. I just didn't want to get in that situation. So I thought if they were leaving me open, I was just going to shoot."

Chicago's new additions came up big in the fourth. In one key stretch early, Miller assisted on Gordon's jumper, Thomas hit a 3-pointer and Salmons converted a three-point play. Gordon then added a jumper to give the Bulls a 99-89 lead.

"We pretty much have all the pieces," Thomas said. "When teams go big, we can match them going big. When teams go small, of course, we can go small."

The Magic had won five straight in Chicago, dealing the Bulls an embarrassing 113-94 home defeat on New Year's Eve.

Howard had 16 points and eight rebounds in the first half, but jammed his hand on Miller's head with 1:33 left. He shot an airball on his first free throw and made the second, and came out a few possessions later with a swollen knuckle on his right index finger. He returned in the second half.

"If we want to be a championship team, we got to keep our turnover ratio down," Howard said. "Tonight it was just turnover after turnover and they were hitting their shots."

Game notes
The Magic had won two in a row. ... Magic G/F Mickael Pietrus didn't play for a second straight game with a sprained right wrist. ... Miller and Thomas played for the Bulls previously, but Thomas only played three games for the Bulls in the 2005-06 season and just one in Chicago. ... For the third straight game, Rose sat for much of the fourth quarter, as Kirk Hinrich ran the offense. ... Tyrus Thomas also sat for much of the fourth.