Suns finally win a close game, beat Bulls 103-101
Apparently the only way that the Suns can win a close game is if they are playing from behind. The Chicago Bulls had a 16 point lead going into the fourth quarter, but the Suns had one of their strongest quarters of the season in the fourth quarter and were able to finish off their road trip with a win.
All five Chicago staters had double digit points. Their scoring was pretty evenly distributed, but Pau Gasol had an especially strong game. He had 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and three blocks. Jimmy Butler also had a good game with 19 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Turnovers really killed the Bulls. They had 20 turnovers, one of them leading to the play that turned the tide of the game. Late in the fourth quarter Gasol threw a bad pass which was stolen by Eric Bledsoe who then fended off Derrick Rose and finished the contested lay in with his left hand. This tied the game up 101-101.
The Suns were saved by Mirza Teletovic who grabbed the rebound from Jon Leuer’s missed corner three. Teletovic then took one dribble and made a fade away jumper from just in front of the free throw line to put Phoenix up 103-101 with 0.3 seconds left in the game. After calling a timeout, the Bulls tried to throw an alley-oop on an inbounds play to tie the game up, but it failed. Eric Bledsoe stepped up at the right time. He finished the game with 16 points, nine boards, and three assists. The Suns were able to overcome a terrible third quarter where they only scored 10 points. They turned it around in the fourth quarter where they had 42 points.
Phoenix was able to get to the line quite a bit tonight and they made the most of their opportunities. They shot 82.4 percent from the charity stripe on 14/17 shooting. The Suns still have a problem with turnovers and tonight was no different. They had 18 giveaways tonight. It’s also interesting to note that Markieff Morris only played seven minutes tonight off the bench and he didn’t score any points on 0/2 shooting. I thought it would be interesting to see how Morris would play after the news broke that a trade to Houston could be in the works. These low minutes are about what I expected.
Which Suns Shone the Brightest?
1. Mirza Teletovic – Teletovic made a huge contribution off the bench tonight, including the game winning shot. He finished with 20 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. He was 4/6 from deep as well. It is apparent that coach Hornacek trusts Teletovic in clutch situations. Teletovic continues to get minutes in close games. He has been hot lately and it is right for Hornacek to go with guys with the hot hand.
2. Devin Booker – Booker had some minutes with Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight and he fit in well with them. Booker finished with 14 points, three rebounds, and five assists. He made good decisions and is looking very mature for his age. He took good shots as well and was 2/2 from beyond the arc. He’s shooting 68.4 percent from three this season.
3. Brandon Knight – Knight helped the Suns with 21 points, three rebounds, and three assists. He was 6/7 from the free throw line, which ended up being huge for Phoenix. He and Booker were also given the daunting task of guarding Jimmy Butler. They both ended up doing a pretty good job at this.
The Suns will finally return home to face the Magic. Tip off will be at 7:00 pm MST.