Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Tuesday, November 9th
Suns94Final
Bulls74
Game 2: Monday, November 22nd
Bulls82Final
Suns100

Suns 94

(4-0, 3-0 away)

Bulls 74

(0-3, 0-2 home)

    Coverage: CSNC

    7:30 PM ET, November 9, 2004

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 21 28 24 2194
    CHI 9 25 17 2374

    Top Performers

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 26 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Chi: L. Deng 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

    Amare's 26 and 15 lead Phoenix in rout

    CHICAGO (AP) -- The matchup of prep-to-pro projects wasn't even close.

    Amare Stoudemire got the better of Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler, finishing with 26 points and a season-high 15 rebounds, and every one of the Phoenix Suns' starters reached double figures in one category or another in a 94-74 rout of the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

    The Suns are now 4-0, their best start since opening the 1984-85 season 5-0.

    "It doesn't matter who I'm playing against, I come out with the same intensity and the same focus and try to get the job done," said Stoudemire, who was drafted out of high school in 2002, a year after Curry and Chandler. "My game was pretty much on tonight."

    The rest of the Suns weren't too bad, either. Shawn Marion also had a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Steve Nash came close with 12 assists and eight points. Joe Johnson had 20 points and Chicago native Quentin Richardson added 16.

    "I just think Chicago didn't have a great night," Nash said. "We weren't good either, but we were pretty focused defensively and that kind of made up for some things."

    Phoenix held the Bulls to 33 percent shooting, including a dismal 1-of-21 from 3-point range.

    The loss dropped the Bulls to 0-3, and they could be in danger of going 0-for-November. They have a game Saturday against the Clippers, who are 2-2, then leave for their annual November road trip to the West Coast, where they haven't won a game since the dynasty days.

    "Definitely embarrassing," said Chandler, who had eight rebounds, seven points and two blocks. "The whole season has been embarrassing so far."

    The Bulls had hoped to get a lift from Curry, who missed the first two games while serving a suspension. But aside from a nice block in the first quarter, Curry was virtually nonexistent. He didn't take a shot until midway through the second quarter, and finished with six rebounds and three points on 1-of-5 shooting. He also had four turnovers.

    Stoudemire also scored Phoenix's first points on a one-handed slam over Curry.

    "They did a great job of keeping the ball out of my hands and making me a non-factor," Curry said. "I kind of (expected the double-teams) but not as aggressive as it was."

    Though the Suns are smaller than Chicago, their speed and athleticism was way more than the Bulls could handle. The first half looked more like a pickup game, with Chicago horribly overmatched against the neighborhood ringers and no doubt about who got next.

    The Suns outscored Chicago 21-9 in the first quarter, and Nash had more assists (four) than the entire Bulls' team (three). It wasn't much better early in the second quarter, with Marion's bank shot giving Phoenix a 26-13 lead.

    But Othella Harrington's tip-in started an 11-3 run that pulled Chicago within 29-24 with 7:40 left in the half. The rally was short-lived, though. Nash made a pair of free throws, Johnson hit a 3 and then Nash fed a wide-open Marion for a monster dunk that echoed throughout the arena and almost drowned out the boos from Bulls fans.

    Nash capped the 9-0 run with a driving layup, and the game may as well have ended there. Chicago didn't get closer than 12 the rest of the night.

    "They were better than us at every position on the floor, starters, bench," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "When that happens, you are not going to win on most nights unless you get lucky. They took it to us at every position."

    The lone bright spot for the Bulls -- if there was such a thing -- was another strong game from rookie Luol Deng, who finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. He's scored in double figures in all three games.

    Game notes


    Phoenix snapped a three-game losing streak in Chicago. ... Phoenix's starters outscored Chicago's starting lineup 84-33. ... Chicago's 0-3 start is its worst since 2000-01. ... Richardson's fiancee, Brandy, had a front-row seat.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    PHX
    CHI
    Points 94 74
    FGM-FGA 32-80 (.400) 31-94 (.330)
    3PM-3PA 7-22 (.318) 1-21 (.048)
    FTM-FTA 23-27 (.852) 11-17 (.647)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-54 21-52
    Assists 24 22
    Turnovers 15 16
    Steals 5 9
    Blocks 8 6
    Fast Break Points 5 1
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 21 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 23 2

    Top Performers

    Phoenix
    Chicago
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 26
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Luol Deng Deng
    Points: 18
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2