By the numbers: Chicago Bulls hold off Phoenix Suns 92-87
The Phoenix Suns knocked on the door several times in the second half Tuesday against the Chicago Bulls but were never able to regain their second-quarter lead. The Bulls, who were missing Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer and traded Luol Deng early Tuesday, held on for a 92-87 victory at the United Center, dropping Phoenix’s record to 20-13. Here’s a look at the contest by the numbers:
The Suns starters only combined for five assists. Point guard Goran Dragic had the most on the starting unit (2). The entire team only assisted each other 12 teams. Ish Smith’s three dishes led the team. The Bulls, meanwhile, rang up 26 assists as a team.
Rookie center Alex Len played six minutes against Chicago in his first action on the court since Nov. 20. His playing time was more than he saw in his previous two games. The former Maryland big man posted three points and two rebounds.
Smith scored a season high 10 points Tuesday, hitting four out of eight shots, although he missed all three of his 3-pointers.
Dragic led all scorers with 21 points. It was the 12th time this season he’s posted 20 or more points.
Starting forwards Channing Frye and P.J. Tucker combined for just 15 points against the Bulls. Frye scored 11 in 27 minutes, while Tucker posted four in 20 minutes.
Forward Markieff Morris hit just two of his nine shots from the field, including two missed 3-point attempts. He did, however, post six rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Suns made only six of their 23 three-point attempts. Gerald Green shot a team-high 10 from downtown, making three.
Chicago grabbed 50 rebounds Tuesday, besting the Suns’ 41 boards. Center Joakim Noah led all rebounders with 19. Forward Taj Gibson, starting in place of injured Carlos Boozer, grabbed 10 to go with his team-high 19 points.
The Suns had a chance to bring their record to .500 in the all-time regular season series against Chicago. The Bulls now led the all-time series 65-63. The teams have met only once in the playoffs, when the Michael Jordan-led Bulls beat the Charles Barkley-led Suns 4-2 in the 1993 NBA Finals.
The 87 points the Suns managed in Chicago was tied for their second lowest total in a game all season. Their lowest output was in a 115-86 blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 27.