Bulls top SunsJan 8, 2014 - 6:45 AM
The Bulls, who were without the services of starting power forward Carlos Boozer (sore right knee), dealt two-time All-Star Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers early Tuesday morning.
The Bulls received Andrew Bynum, who was promptly waived, along with a first round pick and a pair of second rounders for the third-longest tenured player in franchise history.
Taj Gibson scored a team-high 19 points and pulled down 10 boards filling in for Boozer. Jimmy Butler and D.J. Augustin added 13 points apiece, with Augustin also dishing out nine assists for Chicago, winners in three straight.
"We have a long way to go, but every time they've been challenged they've always responded. This is another challenge for them, for us. I think they did a great job getting ready to play today," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said on the loss Deng.
Goran Dragic scored a game-high 21 points and Gerald Green added 15 on 3- for-10 shooting from 3-pount range. Channing Frye and Miles Plumlee added 11 points and seven rebounds apiece for the Suns, who have dropped two of their last three.
"They run a unique offense, they know us so well and they know where guys are going to shoot from. It was an advantage. It was different for us. I was kind of guessing a bit," Plumlee said.
Nazr Mohammed's tip-in gave the Bulls a 27-25 lead after the first 12 minutes.
Chicago's lead swelled to 38-30 following a pair of Noah Free throws, but a 16-4 run from the Suns, capped by a Gerald Green jumper, made it 46-42 with 2:20 remaining in the first half.
The Bulls scored the final seven points of the period to take a 49-46 edge into the break, ending with a Kirk Hinrich triple.
Chicago's lead reached as high as nine points late in the third, but Ish Smith's jumper with 9.5 ticks left made it 70-63 entering the final frame.
Snell hit back-to-back 3's early in the fourth quarter and a Noah jumper made it 78-65 with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Suns countered with a 15-6 burst to make it 84-80 with just under four minutes left, but Phoenix couldn't get closer the rest of the way.
The Bulls improved to 10-7 at United Center ... Only Michael Jordan (12 seasons) and Scottie Pippen (11 seasons) spent more time in the Windy City than Deng ... The Suns were averaging 107 points per game entering the contest ... The Suns fell to 3-10 when scoring less than 100 points this season.
Jan 7 10:27 PM
- PHOENIX: 63
End of 3rd
Jan 7 9:45 PM
- PHOENIX: 46
Jan 7 9:04 PM
- PHOENIX: 25
End of 1st
Jan 7 8:35 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
1st Quarter - 11:33
Jan 7 8:11 PM
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