Just 21 games and just over a month was all Bulls fans had to wait for Derrick Rose's latest comeback from a knee injury to the Bulls' lineup. For once the end of a season brought the promise of heath for a team bitten often by the injury bug in the Tom Thibodeau era.
But on this night in Orlando it was a Magic guard that stole the spotlight from the Bulls' comeback kid.
Victor Oladipo scored seven points in the final 1:30 Wednesday night to take the lead away from Chicago and help the Magic to a 105-103 victory at the Amway Center. The second-year guard out of Indiana hit the game-winning layup with a second left to hand the Bulls their third loss in four games and drop them into a tie for the third seed in the Eastern Conference with Toronto.
As for Rose the guard played 19 injury-free minutes and scored nine points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 19 points while Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic had 15 a piece.
Inserted into the starting lineup by Thibodeau Rose had a three-ponter and jumper within the first five minutes of the game. He wouldn't hit a three pointer the rest of the way as he finished 1-of-6 from behind the arc but did add another layup in the third quarter.
Rose was out of the game late in the fourth quarter when the Bulls saw a six-point lead slip away. Aaron Gordon's jumper with 1:02 remaining gave Orlando the lead but Pau Gasol tied it with six seconds left on a pair of free throws.
That's when Oladipo played hero for the Magic and spoiler for the Bulls. He got the inbounds pass and then dribbled into the lane from the top of the key and drove in for the game-winner in the latest of Rose's returns.