Rapid Reaction: Suns 97, Bulls 81

January, 12, 2013
1/12/13
9:38
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Phoenix Suns earned a 97-81 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Luis Scola led the Suns with 22 points and seven rebounds while Michael Beasley played his best game in weeks, scoring 20 points off the bench. Carlos Boozer had another solid outing, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for the Bulls.

What it means: The Bulls continue to play up and down to the level of their competition. After an impressive win against the New York Knicks on Friday night, the Bulls knew they had to play well against the Suns to really feel as if they had turned a corner in their season -- but that didn't happen.

It has to be starting to feel like Groundhog Day for Tom Thibodeau. He knows his team isn't performing well at home and he understands it is playing poorly against bad teams, but he can't do much to turn things around. The Bulls were tired, but that shouldn't be an excuse on this night given that the Suns were playing their fourth game in five nights. The Bulls aren't able to take the next step as a team because of their repeated inconsistency.

Hits: Jimmy Butler had a solid night off the bench, going 5-for-7 from the field for 13 points and giving the Bulls energy in spurts.

Misses: Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli combined to shoot 14-for-49 from the field. Kirk Hinrich took only three shots and missed all of them.

Stat of the night: The Suns now are 3-17 on the road this season. The Bulls now are 10-10 at home.

What's next: The Bulls take on the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5