FINAL FROM THE UNITED CENTER:
Phoenix 112, Bulls 104 (Bulls: 19-38, 11-18 at home)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: White: 33pts (CH) Suns: Booker: 29 pts.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Felicio and Satoransky each with 6. Suns: Ayton: 19.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: LaVine: 5. Suns: Rubio: 11.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: The Bulls committed nine of their 26 turnovers in the fourth quarter. On the night, the two teams combined for 47 turnovers.
RECAP: Coby White was sensational, scoring a career-high 33 points, tying his career-high with seven made three-point field goals but the Bulls simply couldn't execute in the final period. You can watch my pre-game interview with White on Bulls.com and the Bulls App as we discussed his rookie year on a number of subjects.
The Bulls struggled in the third quarter as the Suns outscored the Bulls by 13 points. The short-handed Bulls, extremely thin in the frontcourt, were outrebounded by the Suns 47-38 as Deandre Ayton recorded 19 boards. The Bulls played without seven rotation players and lost their eighth straight game.
Tonight, the Bulls return to the United Center hosting the Washington Wizards. The Wizards are currently in the ninth seed in the East trailing Orlando by only two games in the loss column. The Wizards lost to Cleveland Thursday and have a very difficult schedule the rest of the way. Bradley Beal is fifth in the NBA in scoring at 29 points per game.
Prior to the game, I had a terrific conversation with Hall of Fame basketball player Ann Meyers Drysdale, who is excellent at her job as a TV analyst of the Suns. Ann is a tremendous person and it was a pleasure reconnecting.
24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Milwaukee 119, Philadelphia 98: A playoff preview? The Bucks are just deeper and better than the 76ers. Period. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 17 rebounds. The Bucks have won 16 of 18 and improved to 48-8. Ben Simmons will undergo an MRI on his lower back after leaving the game early (ESPN).
Houston 120, Utah 110: James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 72 points. The Rockets won the season series 2-1.
Atlanta 111, Dallas 107: John Collins with robust numbers of 35 points and 17 rebounds. Trae Young scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter. Luka Doncic missed the game with an ankle injury.
Miami 124, Cleveland 105: The Heat set a franchise record scoring 82 first-half points. They went 15 of 17 from the field in the second quarter. The Heat improved to 23-3 at home. Dwayne Wade became the fifth player in Heat franchise history to have his jersey retired.
Sacramento 112, Los Angeles Clippers 103: The Kings have won two straight and eight of their last 12, but remain out of contention for the eighth seed in the West.
Brooklyn 115, Charlotte 86: Former Bull, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 21 points. The Nets ended the Hornets three-game win streak.
Always a pleasure.