Enhanced Box Score: Suns 125, Bulls 104 – March 3, 2023
The Phoenix Suns did what they were supposed to do.
Devin Booker and Co. came out looking like nothing short of a true title contender, dishing 15 assists on their first 20 made field goals and dropping an easy 40 points in the first quarter. They were simply out-executing the Bulls on both ends of the floor, as even Josh Okogie was taking full advantage of an overwhelmed Bulls defense with 18 points in the first half (a career-high).
To the Bulls’ credit, though, they didn’t let the star-studded Suns sink their confidence. After entering the 2nd quarter down 11 points, their top-6 defense held Phoenix to just 20 points in the second frame. Even more encouraging, their recently quiet offense made plenty of noise. Zach LaVine set an aggressive tone in transition, pushing the pace and forcing his way to the line for a perfect 7-7 performance en route to 17 first-half points.
LaVine also finished the quarter with a pretty step-back 3, which capped off a 16-1 run for Chicago.
Unfortunately, in not-so-shocking fashion, the Bulls struggled to carry that momentum into the second half. While LaVine and DeRozan were able to continue a relatively impressive night of shot-making, the Bulls simply weren’t getting enough from the supporting cast. Not to mention, the team’s inability to control the offensive glass reared its ugly head again, as the Suns forced some key offensive possessions to gradually extend their lead.
I can’t sit here and pretend I’m all that surprised or disappointed. While a loss is never fun, I actually commend the Bulls for playing with some heart in this one. The fact of the matter, though, is that the Suns are just really freakin’ good.
The addition of Kevin Durant makes it nearly impossible to guard this team for a full 48 minutes. Could the Bulls’ offense have done a better job of keeping this one interesting? Absolutely. They needed some role players to step up. But no one is going to pretend the Bulls are on the same level as this Suns squad. Simply put, the better team won tonight.
Check out the full box score here.