When the Suns tried to push back in the third quarter, they got themselves in trouble with the refs and gave the Bulls a ton of free throws on shooting fouls and techs - 13 free throws in the third quarter alone.
In the fourth, the Bulls made the big shots and the Suns didn't. It was the Bulls night.
When Joakim Noah makes a face up jumper with a man on him, you know it's the Bulls' night.
When Jimmy Butler makes threes, it's the Bulls' night.
When Joakim Noah makes the drive to the left, almost loses the ball, throws up half shot half hook prayer that banks in from 15 feet out, it's the Bulls' night.
The Phoenix Suns came out playing like they were still in practice, while the Chicago Bulls came out playing like they were embarrassed by a bad team the night before. It was quickly a 17-6 lead for the Bulls before 8 minutes had passed. Yes the Suns only had 6 points in the first 8 minutes of the game, settling for (and missing) jumpers.
Only Goran Dragic was playing with fire - even leading the Suns with 4 rebounds early despite being the smallest player on the court.
The Suns missed 12 of their first 16 shots while the Bulls made 8 of 18. But even worse, the ball was like a hot potato to the Suns, unable to secure it cleanly or take controlled shots.
Somehow, the Suns only scored 13 points in the entire first quarter. Luckily, the Bulls aren't very good on offense or the game would be a lot worse. Some credit has to be given to the Bulls' defense for this lead (21-13) against the league's second best offense in the last 10 games. But really, the Suns were just missing shots by not going up strong.
12-13 Chicago after one.
The Suns bench got a jump start with Miles Plumlee in for Alex Len's minutes after Plumlee only played 6 ineffective minutes in the first. Nazr Mohammad.
The Morrii tried to play a little Bro Ball and got embarrassed. Over and over, Marcus fed the ball in to Markieff, despite Markieff being defended by the Bulls best defender in Gibson. Not a smart play there.
I said before the game that the key would be the Morrii. So far, no good for Suns. The Morris brothers really started poorly, even trying to play brother ball right into the teeth of the Bulls second-unit defense.
Yet the Suns stayed close, and Markieff Morris used all those possessions to help keep the Suns in it with 6 points and 2 rebounds in the early stages of the second Q.
Hey guess what happens when you let a team play their own game? Yeah, you guessed it.
The Suns starters were especially gawd awful in the first half, missing 19 of their 26 shots and committing 7 turnovers. That's 7 scores out of 33 possessions. U.G.L.Y.
Bulls up 44-33 at half.
The Suns came out firing in the second half - as if they all shared a Red Bull or 10, scoring 13 points on 6 possessions to match their entire first quarter output.
Channing Frye came out firing from outside, a complete reversal of the first quarter. He missed his first four outside shots in the game, but made his first three in the third.
The Suns quickly cut the Bulls lead to 6 and had two chances to cut it to three, but then just couldn't convert. Suddenly, the Bulls lead was back to 11 despite the Suns still playing their butts off.
I'm not someone who calls out the refs, but these refs were really really bad in this quarter. From cheap Ts to no-calls to phantom calls, the refs fought back hard.
At least the crowd really got into it.
Through it all, the Bulls held a 6 point lead despite the Suns best efforts (65-59) and carried that lead into the fourth quarter.
Bulls lead, 69-63 at end of three.
Again, the Suns tried to come back, getting within 5 on a three by Frye, but the Bulls pushed it right back to 9. The Suns missed 3 layups and a putback slam attempt in the process.
The Bulls pushed it to 12 pretty quickly on a shooting foul and three-point field goal while the Suns kept missing shots (and giving up possession).
This just wasn't the Suns game. Every time the Suns pulled the lead down to 4 or 6, the Bulls made a big shot.
Still, the Suns wouldn't go away. They cut it to 4 with 1:46 to play (93-89).
But then Boozer bullied his way to the hoop and the game was basically over.
Not the Suns night.