Carlos Boozer

The Chicago Bulls haven’t felt like themselves for much of the past few weeks.

They’re hoping a much-needed win is the first step in finding their way back.

Carlos Boozer had a season-high 31 points and 11 rebounds, Luol Deng scored 23 points and the Bulls hung on to beat the Orlando Magic 96-94 on Wednesday night.

Taj Gibson added 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who played without center Joakim Noah. Chicago was outrebounded 37-34 in Noah’s absence but exploited an injury-plagued Magic front court, outscoring them 42-32 in the paint.

Jameer Nelson missed a leaning jumper in the closing seconds that would have tied it, sending Orlando to its seventh straight loss overall and fifth in a row at home…

Nelson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore hip and scored a season-high 32 points. Nik Vucevic finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Arron Afflalo added 19 points for the Magic.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press