CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls turned to a veteran player to
snap their three-game losing streak.
Jalen Rose had 21 points, 11 assists and 14 rebounds for his
first career triple-double as the Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns 90-87
The victory came after coach Bill Cartwright addressed the lack of
leadership on his team before the game.
''The thing about leadership can be determined in different
ways. When you are in a losing situation on a losing team they can
always point and say that team doesn't have this and that team
doesn't have that,'' Rose said. ''I'm going to bring it to every
practice and every game, regardless of what happens, I'm going to
Some Bulls players questioned Cartwright's defensive strategy
after Orlando's Tracy McGrady scored 51 against Chicago on Friday.
Cartwright responded by challenging his players.
''The guy (McGrady) is a good player, and that's where we need
guys to be leaders and assume responsibility and right now we don't
have those guys,'' Cartwright said.
Rose was one against Phoenix, going 7-for-8 from the foul line in
the last two minutes to preserve the victory. Phoenix extended its
losing streak to four.
The Suns cut the Bulls' lead to one three times in the final two
minutes and Amare Stoudemire had a chance to tie the game at 84
with 13.4 seconds left. Stoudemire tipped in his own miss and was
fouled but couldn't convert the three-point play. Each time the
Suns closed to one, Rose answered with free throws.
''We were in a situation where we almost had it,'' Phoenix's
Shawn Marion said. ''A rebound here and a hit shot there and we
would have won the game.''
The Suns first cut the deficit to one by outscoring Chicago 8-0
in a 2:30 span. Dan Langhi made the score 81-80 when he hit a
jumper with 1:28 left, but Phoenix could never take the lead.
The Suns led 45-37 at halftime but shot just 21 percent in the
third quarter. They were 5-for-24 from the floor, including a
2-for-10 performance by Marion.
''When you get the looks you want in the third quarter and you
just don't make them, you still have to stop them,'' Suns coach
Frank Johnson said. ''Where we got hurt was just our transition
defense in the third quarter.''
Stoudemire finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for Phoenix
and Marion had 19 points.
Jay Williams started a 14-2 Chicago run in the third quarter
with a jumper to cut the Suns' lead to 47-39. Williams, who scored
six points during the spurt, capped it off with a jumper to give
Chicago a 51-49 lead with 7:04 left in the quarter.
Chicago outscored Phoenix 10-2 to end the third. Rose scored the
final seven points and gave the Bulls a 68-58 lead at the end of
In the second quarter Chicago managed just 13 points and was only 5-for-19 from the floor. The Suns closed out the second
quarter outscoring Chicago 9-2.
Before the game Cartwright was asked if he felt that he
lost control of the team. ''Well, I would say no. I haven't lost
control. I don't think.'' The Bulls came into the game losing 11 of
their past 13. ... Eddie Robinson missed the game with a pulled
right hamstring. ... After a season-low 10 assists Saturday
against the Heat, Chicago had 23 Monday night. ... Chicago improved
its home record to 17-9. ... Rose's 14 rebounds were a career high.