Notebook: Suns 97, Bulls 81

Posted Jan 13, 2013 12:41 AM

By Kent McDill, for

THE FACTS: The Phoenix Suns took advantage of the hot-and-cold nature of the Chicago Bulls to record a 97-81 victory Saturday at the United Center, ending their own 12-game road losing streak. Luis Scola scored 22 points. For the Suns while Michael Beasley had 20 points, making 10 of 14 shots. Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, while Joakim Noah had 10 points and 13 boards.

THE FACTS II: As good as the Bulls were in beating the New York Knicks Friday at Madison Square Garden, they were that bad Saturday. The Bulls were called for four technical fouls in the game. The Suns took the lead for good late in the second quarter, and shot 50 percent from the field in the third quarter to build a 14-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

THE FACTS III: The Bulls have lost to Phoenix and Charlotte (with 18-game losing streak) at home. They have lost to Milwaukee at home, giving up leads of 27 and 15 points. They have beaten Miami as the visiting team and beaten the New York Knicks three times. Go figure.

QUOTABLE I: "There has been a cloud hanging over us for a while. This game gives us hope."
-- Phoenix forward Beasley.

THE STAT: The Bulls shot 36.4 percent from the field for the game, making 32 of 88 shots. But after the first quarter, which was a weird exhibition of basketball by both teams, they shot just 34 percent, making only 23 of 68 shots.

THE STAT II: The Suns, ranked 27th in the league in rebounding, out-boarded the 10th ranked Bulls, who were playing at home, 46-42. The Bulls scored 20 of their points on offensive rebounds, grabbing 18 of their 56 missed shots.

TURNING POINT: The Suns led by seven points at halftime, and in the third quarter, the Bulls never managed to score consecutive baskets, allowing the Suns to build 14-point lead. The closest the Bulls got in the fourth quarter was 13 points.

INJURY UPDATE: Suns forward Jared Dudley did not play because of a hand injury suffered Friday in Brooklyn. Bulls guard Rip Hamilton went down hard in the second half when he got hit on a hard pick but returned to play. Kirk Hinrich played but remains day-to-day because of a bruised elbow.

HOT: Beasley made seven of eight shots in the second quarter, scoring 14 points in the quarter.

NOT: No one on the Bulls other than Hamilton and Jimmy Butler managed to shoot 50 percent from the field. Team leader in the bad shooting category was Marco Belinelli, who went three for 12 from the field.

QUOTABLE II: "Just understanding how quickly things can change. After winning on the road, you come home and you have to get ready all over again."
-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, explaining his team's up-and-down nature.

BAD MOVE: There is no telling how it would have turned out, but perhaps Hinrich should have been kept out of the game. He missed the three shots he took from the field, suffered two fouls in the game's first two minutes, and appeared physically hampered throughout the game.

NOTABLE: The win was the 2,000th regular season win in franchise history for the Suns, and are the fourth fastest team in NBA history to reach 2,000 wins... the Bulls fell to 10-10 at home.. and are 10-5 on the road... no Central Division team has a winning record at home... Phoenix' last road win was at Cleveland Nov. 27.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, vs. Atlanta Monday, @ Toronto Wednesday, @ Boston Friday. For the Suns, vs. Oklahoma City Monday, vs. Milwaukee Thursday, @ Sacramento Jan. 23.