Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/7

Game 1: Friday, November 7th
Suns83Final
Bulls100
Game 2: Saturday, January 31st
Bulls122Final
Suns111

Suns 83

(4-2, 3-1 away)

Bulls 100

(3-3, 3-0 home)

    Coverage: CSNC

    8:30 PM ET, November 7, 2008

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 17 17 25 2483
    CHI 20 28 31 21100

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: A. Stoudemire 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Chicago: B. Gordon 23 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast

    Gordon's success from 3-point range helps Bulls push away Suns

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- Ben Gordon issued a warning to the rest of the NBA after teammate Derrick Rose showed off a dizzying array of moves Friday night -- the talented rookie is only going to get better.

    Rose had 18 points and six assists and Gordon scored 23 in the Chicago Bulls' 100-83 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

    Fast Facts

    • Joakim Noah grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds. He had a total of four rebounds in his previous three games.

    • Phoenix fell to 3-13 when held under 90 points, including an 0-7 mark when held to 83 points or fewer.

    • The Bulls improved to 3-0 at home, winning by an average of 13.3 points (0-3 on the road this season losing by an average of 11.0 pts).

    -- ESPN research

    "Watching him in practice, you can tell right away how special of a talent he is," Gordon said. "He really doesn't surprise me with anything he does out there on the floor. I think he hasn't even scratched the surface."

    The Suns played without Shaquille O'Neal, who got the night off as part of a plan to rest him periodically throughout the season. O'Neal is expected back in the lineup Saturday at Milwaukee.

    Amare Stoudemire, coming off a 49-point performance against Indiana on Wednesday, finished with 26 points and seven rebounds for the Suns.

    O'Neal, dressed in a suit, watched from the sideline as Chicago center Joakim Noah took advantage of his absence with nine points and 14 rebounds. He came averaging three points and 4.6 boards.

    "They did a good job dominating us on the boards," Suns coach Terry Porter said. "In the first half they got 21 points off of turnovers and their offensive boards. That became a big hill for us to climb."

    The Bulls pulled away in the first half, scoring 16 unanswered points to build a 31-17 lead in the second quarter. Gordon scored seven points during the span.

    Rose hit a jumper to put the Bulls up by 20 early in the third, and Gordon made a 3-pointer to make it 72-45 late in the quarter.

    Then, after botching a break in the fourth by making a bad pass instead of taking it himself for a layup, Rose brought the fans to their feet with a dunk over Leandro Barbosa the next time down.

    "I said forget this," Rose said after the game with a laugh.

    Suns guard Raja Bell came away impressed by the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft.

    "He's obviously very explosive. He's a highlight reel waiting to happen," Bell said. "I'm excited to see where he goes from here. He's a really, really good player."

    Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro shuffled his starting lineup. He replaced Thabo Sefolosha and Tyrus Thomas with Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Gray.

    Thomas gave the Bulls a boost with 14 points and seven rebounds in a reserve role.

    "You guys get into the lineup changes and all this stuff," Del Negro said. "I get into winning and how we can be successful. At times, the lineup will change. We have guys who understand their roles."

    With the Suns playing four games in five nights, Steve Nash and Stoudemire sat the entire fourth quarter. Nash played only 24 minutes and finished with six points and five assists.

    Del Negro got a little payback at the Suns, who spurned him as a head coaching candidate in the offseason.

    Del Negro spent the past two years in the Suns' front office after a three-year stint as a radio analyst. He got promoted to assistant general manager from director of player personnel and was interested in replacing Mike D'Antoni after he left for New York, but a lack of experience kept Del Negro off the list of finalists and the Suns hired Porter.

    "Phoenix has been playing great. Without question I have a lot of respect for that organization," Del Negro said.

    Game notes


    Suns F Matt Barnes missed the game to be with his fiancee, who gave birth to twins. Barnes is also expected to miss Saturday's game against the Bucks. ... Rookie Robin Lopez got his first start at center for the Suns and finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. ... Hinrich left the game in second half with a sprained thumb. He will get an MRI on Saturday morning. ... Bulls F Drew Gooden was limited after spraining his ankle in the first half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    PHX
    CHI
    Points 83 100
    FGM-FGA 28-69 (.406) 40-77 (.519)
    3PM-3PA 4-10 (.400) 6-16 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 23-29 (.793) 14-24 (.583)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-33 10-47
    Assists 17 22
    Turnovers 18 12
    Steals 5 15
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 10 20
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 26 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 27

    Top Performers

    Phoenix
    Chicago
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 26
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Ben Gordon Gordon
    Points: 23
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0