Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/9

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

Bulls 82

(0-9, 0-6 away)

Suns 100

(9-2, 3-1 home)

    Coverage: CSNC

    7:00 PM ET, November 22, 2004

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 24 26 14 1882
    PHX 32 33 12 23100

    Top Performers

    Chi: E. Curry 17 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Blk

    Chicago's 0-9 start ties worst in franchise history

    PHOENIX (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls held Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire under 30 points for the first time in four games. It didn't matter.

    Stoudemire and Shawn Marion scored 21 points apiece to lead the Suns to a 100-82 victory Monday night, leaving the Bulls as the NBA's last winless team.

    Ben Gordon scored 20 points for the Bulls, who matched a franchise record for consecutive losses to start a season. The Bulls opened the 1967-68 season 0-9.

    "I thought the last two games we showed some strides," Gordon said. "But with a team like this you have to maintain it for 48 minutes. You can't do it for three quarters."

    Marion added a season-high 16 rebounds and Steve Nash had 15 points and six assists for the Suns, who have won five straight. Phoenix's 9-2 record -- tied with Seattle for first in the Western Conference -- is the team's best start since 1997-98.

    "We are pretty happy about where we are and how we have come together," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's just how we are playing. It feels good and the guys have good chemistry. There will be tough times ahead but so far, so good."

    Stoudemire had become the first Suns frontcourt player with four straight 30-point games since Charles Barkley in 1995-96. The Bulls limited Stoudemire's opportunities with multiple double-teams but couldn't cool his shooting touch. Stoudemire hit his first five shots before finishing 7-for-8 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line.

    "Teams are going to try to sag in on me and try to stop me from scoring, but the good thing about that is I can get everybody else involved," said Stoudemire, who had five assists to go with six rebounds.

    Phoenix never trailed after Marion's driving layup put the Suns ahead 12-10 in the first quarter. Marion finished the period with 10 points as Phoenix extended its lead to 32-24.

    "We've been out-running people, out-rebounding them," Marion said. "We've got so many weapons out there on the floor nobody can match up with us."

    Chicago closed to 50-46 on Chris Duhon's 3-pointer with 4:25 left in the first half. But Joe Johnson hit consecutive 3-pointers to key a 12-2 spurt to end the half and give the Suns a 65-50 lead at the break.

    "We feel like we lost that game, or at least the biggest factor in it, was right before the half," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We were playing tough but we had several minutes where instead of not playing as well as we have we just fall right off the cliff and come unhinged."

    The Bulls switched to a zone defense early in the third quarter and started whittling away at the lead. Luol Deng had a pair of baskets, Gordon added three points and Chicago held the Suns to one basket over an 8-minute span to pull to 71-61 with three minutes left in the period.

    But Johnson started a 12-0 run with a long jump shot and Phoenix steadily pulled away after that.

    "We just keep looking on the bright side that we are making improvements out there but it doesn't take away from the fact we can't get a game right now," said Eddy Curry, who scored 17 points. "It's mentally and physically draining on everybody on this team."

    The Suns led by as many as 26 points in the closing minutes.

    Chicago became the only NBA team without a victory when New Orleans defeated Utah 76-75 to go to 1-8.

    Game notes


    Suns guard Quentin Richardson left the game with 7:28 to play in the third quarter with a hyperextended left elbow. ... The Suns have won five straight for the first time since Dec. 20-29, 2002. ... Bulls coach Scott Skiles made his first appearance at America West Arena since stepping down as Suns coach on Feb. 17, 2002. ... Phoenix has scored 100 or more points in nine of its 11 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    CHI
    PHX
    Points 82 100
    FGM-FGA 32-84 (.381) 34-80 (.425)
    3PM-3PA 5-18 (.278) 7-30 (.233)
    FTM-FTA 13-23 (.565) 25-31 (.806)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-45 13-51
    Assists 14 22
    Turnovers 18 16
    Steals 6 4
    Blocks 3 6
    Fast Break Points 3 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 22 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Chicago
    Phoenix
    Eddy Curry Curry
    Points: 17
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 21
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2