Rapid Reaction: Bulls 101, Suns 92

February, 4, 2014
Feb 4
10:48
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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PHOENIX -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls pulled out a 101-92 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at U.S. Airways Center.

How it happened: Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Joakim Noah added 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Goran Dragic led the Suns with 24 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn't enough for a Phoenix squad that struggled to get into a rhythm all night thanks to the Bulls' tenacious defense.

What it means: Tom Thibodeau will be ecstatic with the way his team executed its game plan. The Bulls knew in order to beat the Suns they had to slow the game down; that's exactly what they did. They controlled the pace all night and played solid defense throughout. It was exactly what the Bulls needed after being embarrassed by the Sacramento Kings a night earlier. Thibodeau was more upset than usual on Monday night and stressed that his team had to stick together in order to get back on track. The Bulls took his words to heart against a talented Suns team.

What has to make Thibodeau even happier is that Boozer performed well after several poor showings in the past week. Jimmy Butler hit a couple big shots, and D.J. Augustin knocked down several clutch buckets in the final quarter.

Hits: Augustin had a nice bounce-back game, scoring 18 points, 11 in the fourth quarter, and grabbing three rebounds.

Misses: The Bulls and Suns combined for 40 turnovers.

Stats of the night: The Bulls outscored the Suns 40-30 in the paint. It was the Bulls' fifth straight win in Phoenix.

What's next: The Bulls have a day off before squaring off against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland on Thursday 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
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 3.3 1.5 40.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.4
AssistsD. Rose 4.9
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0