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Suns crush Bulls, 97-81

Published: Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 12:05 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 12:09 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
Bulls guard Richard Hamilton works against Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown during the first half Saturday in Chicago.

CHICAGO – Luis Scola scored 22 points to help the Phoenix Suns beat the Bulls 97-81 Saturday night, snapping a five-game losing streak.

Michael Beasley added 20 points for Phoenix, which had lost 12 straight on the road and got its first win away from home since beating Cleveland on Nov. 27.

The Suns got the 2,000th win in franchise history, accomplishing the feat in their 3,599th game to become the fourth-fastest team to the reach the milestone.

Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Joakin Noah added 10 points and 13 boards for the Bulls, which continued its inconsistent play at home with its fourth loss in the last six. The Bulls lost for just the second time in 13 games when both Boozer and Noah recorded double-doubles.

Phoenix shot almost 50 percent from the floor to make up for losing the turnover matchup and getting doubled up on the offensive boards. The Suns had shot under 40 percent three of the last four games and were held under 80 points the last two.

The Bulls were whistled for four technical fouls, capped by coach Tom Thibodeau’s penalty with 3:57 left in the fourth. Nate Robinson was issued one minutes earlier, and Boozer and Luol Deng were each given technicals in the third.

The Bulls earned high-profile road wins over the New York Knicks and Miami Heat in the last eight days, but have struggled against lesser teams at the United Center.

The Bulls were outhustled on Dec. 31st by a Charlotte team that had lost 18 in a row, then on Wednesday by the Milwaukee Bucks, who had lost four of five and recently changed head coaches.

Boozer was held without a field goal for the first 22 minutes, and the Bulls missed all four of there 3-point attempts in the first half.

The Bulls shot 36.4 percent from the floor and 18.2 percent from range, matching a season-low by hitting just two 3s.

Phoenix scored just 26 points in the second half Friday night against Brooklyn, the second-worst half in franchise history.

The Suns looked like a completely different team against one of the NBA’s better defenses.

Scola led Phoenix with 10 first-quarter points, then Beasley had 14 in the second, shooting 7 for 8, as the Suns led 49-42 at the break.

Beasley’s 20 points marked his best output since scoring 21 against the Clippers on Dec. 8.

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