Almost a hero.
Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy nailed a half-court, end-of-regulation buzzer-beater against the Magic on Monday, only to realize after the ball went through that Orlando was still going to claim an 83-82 road victory.
This was a fittingly frustrating end for the Bulls, whose 7-1 run in the final three minutes went for naught as Luol Deng missed a point-blank lay up in the game's closing seconds that would have tied the game. The frantic finish was briefly subdued when Glen Davis knocked down a pair of free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining to give the Magic a four-point lead.
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After Davis hit his icing pair, though, Chicago inbounded the ball to Dunleavy, who was standing near midcourt. He received the pass, turned, and launched a push shot from behind the midcourt stripe, swishing home the three-pointer just as time expired. Video replays caught the veteran forward briefly celebrating the shot, only to realize that the Bulls were still one point shy of forcing overtime. It didn't take long for the potential cheers to turn to grimaces.
Arron Afflalo scored a team-high 23 points (on 8-for-14 shooting) to pace the Magic. Davis added 14 points (on 6-for-15 shooting) and 11 rebounds for Orlando.
Deng scored a game-high 26 points (on 8-for-16 shooting) and grabbed eight rebounds for the Bulls. D.J. Augustin added 14 points (on 5-for-15 shooting) and eight assists off the bench in a losing effort.
Orlando improved to 8-17 with the win; Chicago dropped to 9-14 with the loss.