The Phoenix Suns picked up some steam in the 4th quarter to give themselves the victory 106-97.
Frank Kaminski was able to make up for Dario Saric missing the game in helping to keep the game close, while the starting line-up behind Deandre Ayton for the Suns were able to come in and finish the job.
The Suns went on a 26-6 run in the fourth to flip the margin, similar to their 37-7 fourth quarter run a week ago over the Pelicans.
Suns are now 21-11 on the year, while the Bulls dropped to 15-17.
In the first four minutes to start the game, the Suns looked to get Ayton the ball early with a little snarl from veteran point guard Chris Paul. Touching the ball four of the first 11 possessions hopes to spark a little bit of a urgency from Ayton.
The turnovers from the Bulls in the early going gave the Suns chances to build on a lead mounting to a total of four in the first quarter.
Mr. First Quarter himself, Devin Booker, continued the trend of leading the Suns in great shot attempts and points shooting 5-11 from the field with 10 points.
Mikal Bridges did what he did best in getting to the rim ending the quarter with five points. With the absence of Saric, coach Monty Williams will be looking for that contributor off the bench early.
Cleaning up on the mistakes the Bulls were able to tie the game at the at 26 each after the Suns were able to jump out to a 11 point lead.
It became the Thaddeus Young vs. Frank Kaminski game early in the second quarter, as they were exchanging blow for blow. Sounds like a boring matchup, but the passion to score on each other might show that they have a history of some sort together? They must of shared a girlfriend at one time maybe. Both would reach the bench at the eight minute mark in the second with Frank at six points and Young with eight.
Still continuing to struggle from beyond the arc, the Suns started the game 1-8 and the Bull 3-13.
To close out the first half, the Bulls went on a 9-0 run taking their lead to 42-48. After a Suns timeout, Paul and Booker were able to get to the line, something that you don’t see too often from the Suns. But unable to gain any traction on the Bulls after that, the Suns entered the tunnel at the half down 58-46.
Key half time Suns stats:
- Suns gave up 30 points in the paint
- ZERO turnovers
- 10 points from the bench
- 1-10 from 3
- Out-rebounded 22-15 without giving up an offensive rebound
Ayton was priority for the Suns to start the second half. Getting him the ball, leading to mostly nothing. That took the Suns offense in other directions. Getting to the free throw line from Booker and Bridges hitting a three to try and get the offense going.
Then, back to Ayton again. At the 7-minute mark in the 3rd quarter, the Suns were able to cut the lead to seven. Ayton was fed the ball over and over to get him to 14 points. When the mid-range game and the 3-point game isn’t flowing, the next action was to feed the inside.
The Suns were able to put together a 13-2 run, but the three-ball would not fall. The Bulls were able to knock down more than a couple threes to extend the lead to 12. That is Bulls mystery man- Luke Kornet nailing 3 of 3 from 3.
The bench including Abdel Nader and Frank were able to come in and string together a 11-0 run helping the Suns close the gap. A little more ball movement from the Suns and mistakes (including a Billy Donavan tech) by the Bulls defense added to the help.
Frank started the 4th quarter with his 13th point and a big block on the other end. The battle between Frank and Young had a taste for more blood. A jersey swap after the game might have taken place.
Ayton replaced Frank in the heat of battle and the Suns fed the big man. All the touches in the first half and the 3rd quarter led
The Suns to the led at the 6:14 mark in the 4th quarter with a Cam Johnson lay-in 89-87.
Even with the lack of respect from the refs again for Booker, the emotions were kept in check just enough to not get a technical. The focus on finishing out the Bulls on the defensive end and inside the paint completed the comeback as Ayton was fed and the shots began to fall in.