Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls
Bulls outlast Suns
Bulls improve to 35-21 on the season
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By Sam Smith | 2.22.2015 | 9:11 p.m. CT
The Bulls came on aggressively in the fourth quarter and held on with some big shots from Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol for a 112-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The Bulls moved to 35-21 and 16-11 at home with their fifth win in their last six games while the Suns fell to 29-27.
The Bulls were led by Gasol with 22 points and 14 rebounds, Jimmy Butler with 19 points and Derrick Rose with 16. Taj Gibson and Aaron Brooks, each with 12 points, were crucial off the bench for a 17-6 start to the fourth quarter that swung the game for the Bulls.
The Bulls got off to a fast start, taking a 25-18 lead pushing the ball, spacing the court and shooting threes. But Derrick Rose drew a second foul and had to go out. The Suns closed within three and trailed 33-28 after one. Again, Bulls turnovers with 11 in the first half for 14 points were costly and the Suns took a 56-52 halftime lead. The Bulls offense again after halftime bogged down like Friday against the Pistons with several late shot clock throws at the rim. But the Bulls recovered behind Butler and Gasol to pull within 83-81 going into the fourth quarter.
1. Although his statistics weren’t overwhelming because of foul trouble, Derrick Rose’s floor game was strong. His plus/minus when he as on the floor was plus-12 through the first three quarters with the next closest Bulls plus-1.
2. Jimmy Butler had another all around hustling game, but overall the Bulls were beaten frequently to loose balls until an energetic Taj Gibson changed the dynamic in the fourth quarter.
3. Mike Dunleavy was back shooting well from three, showing you need to stick with him even when he’s missing as he’s the sort of reliable shooter defenses must honor.