CHICAGO (AP) -- The matchup of prep-to-pro projects wasn't even
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
The Suns are now 4-0, their best start since opening the 1984-85
"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
"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
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
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
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.