The Phoenix Suns’ five-game win streak came to a screeching halt Tuesday night at US Airways Center against the Chicago Bulls as soon as the ball was tossed in the air.
A 13-point first quarter was far from the only blemish in the Suns’ box score, as the team that was red-hot coming into the game simply couldn’t find their stroke all night.
The Bulls, meanwhile, fresh off of a 99-70 loss to the Sacramento Kings used a pair of double-doubles from their big men, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, to remain in control of the game from wire to wire.
The Suns’ frustration with the officiating, meanwhile, boiled over on multiple occasions, as they were issued a trio of technical fouls throughout the night.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that coach Jeff Hornacek’s squad was able to get their fast-break going, but it wouldn’t be enough.
Here’s a look at the hard-fought loss, by the numbers:
Despite logging his fifth straight game with more than 20 points, point guard Goran Dragic managed just one assist on the night. Dragic has been playing extremely well lately, scoring more than 20 in all but five of his last 19 games, but Tuesday marked just the third time all season that the 27-year-old has failed to tally multiple assists. He is averaging 6.1 per game on the season.
Despite the loss, the Suns’ 29-19 record is good for sixth-best in the Western Conference, tying them with the Golden State Warriors. That mark is 2.5 games better than the 26-21 record held by the Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently the ninth-best team in the West. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets are both five games back from the Suns in the conference.
The Suns had trouble hiding their frustration on Tuesday, challenging several calls and, ultimately, getting three technical fouls over the course of the night. Gerald Green, Markieff Morris and Dragic were the offenders.
The Suns managed just a dozen field goals in the first half, tallying just 33 points in the half. They managed one more turnover in the half than they did converted field goals.
The Suns managed a season-low 13 points in the first quarter. Their previous first-quarter low came on Nov. 5 against the New Orleans Pelicans, when they scored just 17 in a 104-98 win.
Noah was huge in the Bulls’ victory, logging 14 points and 14 rebounds to go along with a block, a steal and a pair of assists. The big man played 37 minutes for Chicago, shooting 7-of-10 from the floor and committing just one foul in the game.
The Suns’ prolific fast-break attack was missing in action for much of Tuesday’s loss and the ultimately managed just 17 points in transition.
The Suns’ shooting struggles were glaring Tuesday, as they managed to hit just 31 of their 80 field goal attempts — good for a 38.8% shooting percentage. Green (2-for-13) and Markieff Morris (4-for-13) had the worst nights from the floor while Dragic (9-for-15) fared the best. Channing Frye, who scored 18 points in the contest, hit just two of his 11 three-point attempts, to go 6-for-16 from the floor on the night.
Miles Plumlee, who pulled down 10 rebounds, and company actually outrebounded the Bulls on Tuesday, grabbing 47 rebounds to Chicago’s 44.
The Suns’ 92 points were their sixth-lowest of the 2013-14 season. They also scored 92 in a Nov. 25 loss to the Miami Heat and they managed just 87 the last time they faced the Bulls.