Bulls 116 - 103 Suns
  for this game

Bulls end losing streak against Suns

Feb 12, 2007 - 5:55 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The Chicago Bulls got healthy at the expense of the ailing Phoenix Suns.

Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon combined for 85 points as the Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak with a 116-103 victory over the shorthanded Suns.

Chicago outscored Phoenix, 37-19, in the fourth quarter to conclude its seven-game road trip with a 3-4 mark, the same record as the slumping Suns in their last seven overall.

"The last couple of games we played them they won at the end and they were games we probably should have won," said Gordon, who scored 27 points. "Tonight we came out seeking some redemption and we got it."

With two-time defending MVP Steve Nash missing his third straight game with a shoulder injury and forward Boris Diaw joining him on the sideline with an ailing back, Phoenix trailed for most of the contest.

But with Leandro Barbosa - Nash's replacement - scoring 13 third-quarter points, the Suns surged ahead with a 13-0 run and took an 84-79 lead into the fourth quarter behind a 20-2 spurt.

The momentum stopped there. The Bulls ran off the first seven points of the final period and went ahead to stay, 94-92, on a layup by Ben Wallace with seven minutes left.

Hinrich, who had 14 of his 29 points in the quarter, followed with a 3-pointer and the Bulls slowly pulled away in handing the Suns their first double-digit loss in an NBA-record 51 games, breaking the previous mark held by Chicago in the 1995-96 season.

Posting his second-highest scoring output of the season, Hinrich was 10-of-16 from the field and made 5-of-7 3-pointers.

"For a while in the third we just weren't moving the ball and guys were doing their own thing," Hinrich said. "Then we got some stops and started moving the ball again and we got good looks and started to knock them down.

"I got a rhythm going out there and my shots felt good. We did a good job of spreading it out there in the fourth quarter."

Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said the third-quarter comeback may have sapped his team's energy level.

"I would think so. Chicago plays extremely hard and they do tax you if we had all of our guys," D'Antoni said. "I thought during that stretch we played some of our best defense. That is what is going to win for us in the playoffs. We will get our guys back so I am not worried-worried.

"We are not real solid right now and we are struggling. We are not panicking but it is almost like we in hyperspace trying to get over things. We need to settle down."

Deng also had 29 points and Gordon 27 as the Bulls shot 51 percent (41-of-81) and won in Phoenix for the first time since November 20, 1996.

"It's a known fact, when Steve (Nash) is not in there it is not the same," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "He is the two-time MVP and he is the style they play but that is why you have to win that game. When a team is shorthanded, you have to win it."

Barbosa and Amare Stoudemire had 26 points apiece for the Suns, who suffered just their second straight and fifth home defeat of the season.

"We came out with energy but we got discombobulated," Suns forward Shawn Marion said. "We had a few different lines out there that hadn't played with each other before so the communication wasn't where it should be. The game got slowed down a bit.

"I don't know if we got tired or not. We didn't run out of gas but we did great in spurts and couldn't contain it. They are a feisty team; they are young and have some scorers."

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