Suns close homestand vs. Bulls

( - The Phoenix Suns finally wrap up their eight-game homestand Friday night when the Chicago Bulls pay a visit to U.S. Airways Arena.

The Suns are 5-2 thus far on the stay with wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards. They lost to the Houston Rockets and LA Clippers.

On Wednesday, the Suns halted the two-game slide with a 106-98 victory over the Wizards.

Goran Dragic posted 20 points to lead Phoenix, while Isaiah Thomas had 18 points off the bench. Markieff Morris scored 16 and P.J. Tucker went for 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns.

"P.J. (Tucker) doesn't get a lot of opportunities, but late in games he really gets tuned in," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said.

Down 88-70 early in the fourth, the Wizards ripped off a 17-3 run to cut their deficit to four with under seven minutes left. The Suns weathered the surge by scoring the next eight points, but Washington had one last rush in them as Otto Porter's 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 101-97 with 1:17 left.

Dragic committed a turnover on Phoenix's ensuing possession, but John Wall was off on a 3-pointer and Morris made a clutch jumper at the other end with 23.5 seconds left to seal it.

"First half, good defense. Second half, not so much," Hornacek added.

The Bulls have lost two of their last three and the record is bizarre. Chicago lost at home to a sub-.500 Miami Heat, beat the previously 21-1 at home Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena, then lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.

On Thursday, Pau Gasol's return to LA was spoiled in a 123-118 double-overtime loss.

Gasol, who helped the Lakers win two NBA titles during his six-plus seasons in the City of Angels, received a standing ovation from the crowd following a video tribute during his introduction. Gasol then walked out to halfcourt and waved to the fans.

"When things were going well here, it was exceptional," Gasol said.

The spectators were given T-shirts that said "Thanks Pau" on the front with a list of his accomplishments with the Lakers on the back.

Gasol, whose tip-in tied the game at 98-98 with 11 seconds left in regulation, finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Jimmy Butler, who was named an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve on Thursday, netted a career-high 35 points to go with seven boards, while Joakim Noah pulled down 17 rebounds and dished out nine assists for Chicago, which had won three of its last four games coming in.

Derrick Rose, who was 7-of-26 from the floor, poured in 17 points to go with six helpers in defeat.

The Bulls still have stops in Houston, New Orleans and Orlando on this trip.

Chicago has owned this series in recent history with a 9-2 mark in the last 11 meetings and five consecutive victories in Phoenix.