Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/18

Game 1: Tuesday, November 18th
Bulls82Final
Suns95
Game 2: Monday, January 5th
Suns82Final
Bulls87

Bulls 82

(4-8, 3-2 away)

Suns 95

(4-6, 3-3 home)

    Coverage: WCIU

    7:00 PM ET, November 18, 2003

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 23 24 19 1682
    PHX 29 28 20 1895

    Top Performers

    Chicago: K. Gill 23 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Phoenix: A. Stoudemire 21 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Phoenix 95, Chicago 82

    PHOENIX (AP) -- A perfect pass high above the rim from Penny Hardaway resulted in a thunderous dunk by Amare Stoudemire, and served notice that the Phoenix Suns weren't going to let this one get away.

    Stoudemire scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Suns snapped a three-game skid with a 95-82 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

    Stoudemire also had three fourth-quarter steals and grabbed 10 rebounds. Last season's NBA Rookie of the Year also tied his career best with four assists, after getting just one the entire season entering the game.

    It was the kind of all-around performance that had been missing most of this early season.

    "I just need to do it more often," Stoudemire said. "I do it every day in practice."

    Hardaway didn't take a shot in the game.

    "I think that's the first time that's happened in my career," he said.

    But his poise off the bench, and that pass, were a big factor in the victory.

    "That pass right there really got me up and at it," Stoudemire said, "kind of got the juices flowing, and we ended the game pretty well."

    Rookie Zarko Cabarkapa reached double figures for the first time for the Suns with 14 points, 12 in the first half on 6-for-7 shooting.

    Shawn Marion had 19 points and nine rebounds for Phoenix.

    "The more we stay active, the more everybody is helping each other and talking on defense, the better we are," Marion said. "That's one of our main problems. We don't really talk enough on defense."

    The Bulls, in the first stop of a five-game road trip, never led while dropping their third in a row. They didn't make a field goal in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter and wound up 5-for-18 in the period.

    The Suns got 20 points from their centers. Scott Williams, in his first game of the season following thumb surgery, started and had eight points and 10 rebounds. Jake Voskuhl added 12 points off the bench.

    Joe Johnson scored 11. Stephon Marbury scored just eight points but had 12 assists.

    Kendall Gill scored 23 for Chicago on 10-for-16 shooting. Tyson Chandler added 12. Marcus Fizer, just off the injured list, scored 10 points, as did Eddy Curry.

    "We just need everybody to play as a whole, not just one or two of us," Gill said. "Our turnovers killed us. I don't know why we threw the ball away so much. If we could just eliminate half the turnovers, our record would be totally different."

    The Bulls committed 19 turnovers, 13 in the second half.

    A pair of spectacular dunks put Phoenix up 82-67 with 10 minutes to play.

    After he slammed Hardaway's pass home, Stoudemire stole the ball at the other end, and Marion had a fast-break stuff.

    "We had an opportunity to get back in the game, and had three straight turnovers," Chicago coach Bill Cartwright said. "That cost us. It was just dreadful."

    Stoudemire's two free throws put Phoenix up 84-67 with seven minutes to go. Kirk Hinrich ended Chicago's drought with his first field goal of the night, a 19-footer that cut the lead to 84-71 six minutes from the finish.

    The Suns led by as many as 13 points in the first half and were up 57-47 at the break. Phoenix shot 57 percent in the first two quarters.

    Cabarkapa's slick fast-break pass to Marbury for a layup capped a 12-4 run that gave the Suns a 71-55 with 4:32 to play in the third quarter. Marion's two free throws with 1:14 left made it 75-61, and Eddie Robinson's bank shot for the Bulls at the buzzer made it 77-66 entering the fourth.

    Game notes


    Marbury had six assists and the Suns shot 59 percent in the first quarter. ... Phoenix was without center Jahidi White because of surgery on his left pinkie. ... To make room for Fizer, the Bulls placed Linton Johnson III on the injured list with a sprained right ankle. ... The Suns were 23-for-32 at the foul line, Chicago 14-for-18. ... The Suns have beaten Chicago six times in a row in Phoenix. ... Phoenix had 18 first-half assists.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    CHI
    PHX
    Points 82 95
    FGM-FGA 33-81 (.407) 36-76 (.474)
    3PM-3PA 2-15 (.133) 0-8 (.000)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 23-32 (.719)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-45 10-46
    Assists 17 28
    Turnovers 19 14
    Steals 6 13
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 1 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Chicago
    Phoenix
    Kendall Gill Gill
    Points: 23
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 21
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1