Local Sports
>>Bulls Win Seventh Straight
Denzel Valentine had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Nikola Mirotic had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 112-94 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight win.
The Bulls had lost 10 straight with Mirotic out of the lineup prior to his return Dec. 8, and they haven't lost since to improve to 10-20.
Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points for Orlando, which lost its sixth in a row.
Facing the league's fourth-worst scoring defense, the Bulls took a 43-27 lead with 9:05 left in the second quarter on Mirotic's layup, one of many easy baskets. Chicago's strong ball movement resulted in easy looks inside and out, and the team had assists on 10 of its first 15 shots.
Robin Lopez connected on his first four attempts for a club averaging 111.1 points per contest since Mirotic returned to the lineup - up from 95.7 points in 23 games without the forward.
Injury-riddled Orlando, which played without leading scorers Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, struggled to keep pace. The Magic made only 3 of 15 first-half 3-point tries en route to their 17th loss in 20 games.
The Bulls are at Cleveland on Thursday night.
>>Pacers Down Hawks
Victor Oladipo scored 23 points to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Atlanta Hawks 105-95 Wednesday night, two days after scoring 38 points in a loss to Boston.
Oladipo made 8 of 15 shots Wednesday, including 3 of 5 3-pointers, and Indiana built a 20-point fourth-quarter lead before the Hawks scored the final 10 points.
Indiana led just 53-51 at halftime.
Atlanta's reserves outscored Indiana's subs 46-28 with rookie reserve center/forward John Collins leading the way with 18 points and nine rebounds. Marco Belinelli pitched in 13 points.
The Pacers gradually grew their lead through the second half, peaking when young center Myles Turner (20 points, six rebounds) hit a 3-pointer for a 105-85 edge with 2:55 left.
The Pacers will play host to the Nets on Saturday night.

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