Turner stars as Pacer hand Bulls' Boyln losing start

...Magic stop Heat in Florida derby

Thursday, December 06, 2018

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LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Myles Turner scored 18 points as the Indiana Pacers handed Jim Boylen a losing start with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

Boylen took over the head coaching duties with the Bulls on Monday after Chicago fired Fred Hoiberg.

But the scale of the task facing Boylen was underscored by the Pacers in Indianapolis as the Bulls slipped to a 96-90 defeat.

The loss left Chicago with a 5-20 record, anchoring them firmly at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

The Pacers improved to 14-10 for the season, moving them into fifth place in the East, 5.5 games adrift of leaders Toronto.

As well as his double-digit points tally, Turner also chipped in with 11 rebounds and three assists.

The 22-year-old power forward, who also had five blocks, was given support from Darren Collison, who had 23 points and eight assists.

Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen led the scoring for Chicago with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Boylen, meanwhile, praised his team's character — but pointedly warned that fitness levels need to improve.

“I really like this team,” Boylen said. “We competed. We battled. That's a big, physical team. I'm disappointed we didn't win. But I'm not discouraged. We showed grit.

“I'm really disappointed in our conditioning,” Boylen added. “It's going to change.”

Elsewhere Tuesday, the Orlando Magic improved to 12-12 for the season with a 105-90 win over the Miami Heat in their Florida derby.

Aaron Gordon had 20 points with 13 rebounds for Orlando, one of six Magic players to finish in double figures.

Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross both had 19 points for Orlando.

Justise Winslow led the scoring for Miami with 14 points off the bench.

Miami veteran Dwyane Wade accused his teammates of complacency following the defeat, which had followed consecutive wins over New Orleans and Utah.

“We just relaxed for some reason, like we got enough wins around here,” Wade said. “I thought our offence stunk.”

“I would rather play Golden State than Orlando because we don't play with the same focus when we don't play against a team we see on TV every night,” he added.

A miserable night for Miami also saw Hassan Whiteside leave the bench with 40.5 seconds remaining and head for the locker room.

Miami Head Coach Erik Spoelstra played down the signficance of Whiteside's apparent tantrum.

“He's probably extremely upset like we all are,” Spoelstra said afterward.

In Dallas, Mavericks ace Luka Doncic led the way in a 111-102 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Slovenian teenager Doncic also had three assists in the victory. Damian Lillard weighed in with 33 points for Portland, who fell to 13-11 after the loss.

In Salt Lake City, Donovan Mitchell had 20 points and Rudy Gobert 18 as the Utah Jazz routed the San Antonio Spurs by a score of 139-105.

In the night's other game, Phoenix's miserable campaign continued with a 122-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

The Suns are now propping up the Western Conference with a 4-20 record, the worst record in the NBA.

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