The Chicago Bulls continue to thrive in the absence of league MVP Derrick Rose and cemented their place at the top of the Eastern Conference with a suffocating 85-59 road win over the Orl ando Magic on Monday.
Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer (L) drives around Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson (R) during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Orlando March 19, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
The Bulls are 10-4 without Rose, who has missed four straight games with a groin injury. Carlos Boozer scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds while reserve point guard John Lucas put up 20 points to pick up the slack.
Chicago (38-10) have built a three-game lead in the conference over Miami, who they beat 106-102 last week.
The Bulls raced to a 15-point lead against Orlando and dominated the fourth by outscoring the home team 25-11.
Dwight Howard recorded 18 points and 12 rebounds but the Magic (29-18) could not get their offense on track and lost for the third time in four games.
The 59 points scored by Orlando were the fewest ever allowed by Chicago in a regular season game.