Bulls come from 23 behind to stun Suns

In a true test of will and mental toughness, the Chicago Bulls (8-5) battled back from a 23 point deficit to stun the Phoenix Suns (7-8) 123-115 Wednesday night in US Airways Arena.

In another herculean effort, Derrick Rose led the team with 35 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out 7 assists in 50 minutes of action before fouling out in the second extra period. Joakim Noah was huge, making all of the critical plays to help ensure a Bulls win, scoring 17 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and recording two of the biggest steals in the game. Luol Deng finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and Kyle Korver scored 24 off the bench.

On the second game of a back-to-back and with most of the starters having played over 30 minutes the previous night in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bulls would come out of the gates in this one looking like a team looking  forward to a Thanksgiving Day off.

Phoenix began the game on a 31-11 run; taking advantage of a Chicago team that exhausted all energy in trying to pull out a win the previous night. The Suns shot 63% and the Bulls would find themselves down as many as 23 points in the period. They went into the second quarter down 35-17.

With the Suns offense clicking on all cylinders, it begin to look very dismal that the Bulls could even make a game of this one, but in the second quarter, sparked by the energy of the reserves, Chicago's offense started picking up.

Even with former Bull, Hakim Warrick going for 19 of his first half and total game 23 points in the quarter, the Bulls were able to cut the deficit to 62-50 going into halftime.

The Bulls would begin the third trading baskets with Phoenix and one of the most pivotal moments of the game happened at the 7:18 mark when Rose picked up his fourth foul. With the score 70-58, Tom Thibodeau decided to keep him in and Rose would score 8 points after that in the period and slowly but surely, the Suns began to tighten up offensively.

The Suns went into the fourth quarter with an 84-72 advantage, but Chicago would start the fourth with a 14-5 run,  capped off by a Deng three that made the game 89-86 with 7:03 left to play.

Rose would pick up his fifth foul with 4:28 remaining and the Bulls down 92-88 and the teams would trade baskets--with the Suns not able to gain any ground on extending a lead, James Johnson would knock down a three-pointer with 2:19 remaining to cut Chicago's deficit to 99-97.

After two great defensive stands by the Bulls, Rose would miss a short jumper with just a minute remaining. The Suns looked to get Rose and Noah mismatched on a screen and roll, putting Rose on the post and Noah guarding Steve Nash (14 points, 16 assists) in the corner, only the quick hands on Noah would knock the ball loose from Nash and Rose was able to push the ball and find Johnson cutting to the basket for a dunk that tied the game at 99 with 45 seconds remaining.

After nearly holding the Suns to another shot-clock violation, Johnson would foul Nash with 21 seconds remaining and Nash would drain both. Rose would be able to draw a foul on Grant Hill (27 points, 8 rebounds) and would knock down both of his free throws to tie it at 101, giving the Suns a chance to win it, but after letting the clock wind down, Hill was barely able to get a shot over Ronnie Brewer that just connected with the rim as the buzzer sounded.

The first overtime would see both teams trading baskets, before a Jason Richardson three-pointer gave the Suns a 108-107 lead with 1:04 left to play. After a Rose miss with 12 seconds remaining, the Bulls would send Channing Frye to the free throw line and he would convert both, increasing Phoenix' lead to 110-107.

After a timeout, Rose would attempt a three-pointer that bounced off the rim perfectly for Noah to softly tip it in and after a Phoenix timeout, the Bulls would send Richardson to the line, where he would make the first and miss the second one, with Rose grabbing the rebound and calling timeout, giving Chicago 5 seconds to try and tie the game or go for the win.

Noah would receive the inbound pass from Korver and Rose would lose Hill on a back door cut to tie the game at 111 with .1 remaining and the Suns were unable to even get a decent attempt off.

Rose would start the second overtime by converting a three-point play and after a Hedo Turkoglu jumper closed the Suns deficit to 114-113, both Rose and Deng would connect on back to back jumpers giving the Bulls a cushion they would need as Phoenix was unable to find any offense in the second OT, being outscored 12-4 in the frame.

After what is sure to be a Thanksgiving Day of rest for the team, they will play the Denver Nuggets (8-6) on Friday.

For all Bulls news, check out the Chicago Bulls Examiner and follow C4DUNK on twitter.



One can't overlook the importance that second year forward James Johnson had on the game. His endless energy on both sides of the floor helped get his teammates energized and helped pick up the pace of the Bulls offense.

He finished with 12 points on 5-6 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 23 minutes before fouling out with 21 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter. With the team struggling to find energy off the bench in the last couple of games, JJ may have earned himself some minutes once again after providing this same type of energy back on Oct. 30 in a 21 point comeback against the Detroit Pistons.


For the first time in his two-year career, Taj Gibson missed his first game, sitting out to rest a sore right ankle. Ronnie Brewer started in his place.

The move was simply precautionary as Gibson played 40 minutes in Tuesday's loss to L.A.

Expect to see him in the lineup Friday against the Nuggets.


With the victory on Wednesday, Derrick Rose record in US Airway Arena is now 3-0, not a real accomplishment by any standard, but if you remember last seasons dunk on Goran Dragic, then you would understand why the Suns might want to redeem themselves against a team that has a very large fan base in it's own arena.

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