Magic end six-game skid on 59 percent shooting night…
The Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors both fell to disappointing losses at home on Monday night against the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons respectively.
Nikola Vucevic had 33 points and 11 rebounds while Victor Oladipo added 33 more points as the Magic snapped a six-game skid against one of the favourites in the Eastern Conference.
Rookie point guard Elfrid Payton added 10 points and seven assists as Orlando (14-27) shot a season-high 59 percent from the field to earn their first win in Chicago since December 2013.
Vucevic was 16-for-24 from the field in his NBA-best 23rd double-double of the season as he outplayed Pau Gasol who finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Derrick Rose had 18 points while Jimmy Butler added 17 in the losing effort.
The Bulls (26-13) lost for the seventh time against teams currently with sub-.500 records, five of those losses coming at home with Rose conceded that coach Tom Thibodeau has every right to be frustrated with their tendency to produce a below-par performance.
Elsewhere, the Raptors also lost at home with Brandon Jennings pacing the Pistons with 34 points and 10 assists as the Stan Van Gundy-led comeback continues with Detroit making it nine wins in their last 10 games.
Greg Monroe added 22 points and 10 rebounds while Andre Drummond had 10 points and 14 rebounds as Detroit improve to 14-24 and will have legitimate hopes of now pushing on for the rest of the season and making the playoffs.
The Brooklyn Nets ensured there were a trio of losing sides from the East on Monday as they succumbed to the Houston Rockets at the Barclays Center.
James Harden put up 30 points, six rebounds and three assists while Mason Plumlee led the hosts with 24 points and 10 rebounds. However, the game will arguably be best remembered for the scrap between Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard.
Garnett was ejected in the first quarter after head-butting Howard in the face and throwing the ball at him, while Howard was hit with a technical foul after appearing to punch or slap Garnett in the neck.
New Orleans Pelicans 100-108 Boston Celtics
Houston Rockets 113-99 Brooklyn Nets
Detroit Pistons 114-111 Toronto Raptors
Orlando Magic 121-114 Chicago Bulls