Sports

Suns cap homestand with win over Bulls

Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Bledsoe scored 23 points, including the final four for Phoenix, to help the Suns pull away from the Chicago Bulls and cap an eight-game homestand with a 99-93 win.

Goran Dragic scored 21 points for the Suns, who finished the homestand 6-2. Markieff and Marcus Morris both scored 12 points, with Markieff also contributing a season-high 14 rebounds.

"I thought our defense played great tonight," said Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek. "They challenged just about every shot."

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Aaron Brooks combined for 66 of Chicago's 93 points and Pau Gasol had 19 boards in the setback.

Rose's struggles from the floor continued on Friday despite scoring 23 points. He shot 8-of-23 and 0-for-6 from behind the arc. Rose is shooting 28-of-82 (34 percent) from the floor and 5-for-25 from 3 over his last three games.

Chicago shot 1-for-14 from outside the paint in the first half and trailed 55-42 at the break.

The 13-point halftime lead grew to 15 two minutes into the third quarter before Chicago made a game of it. A pair of 6-0 runs, the second of which Kirk Hinrich capped with a short jumper, gave the Bulls a 67-66 lead before Brandan Wright's layup restored Phoenix's lead after three.

The Suns shot 6-for-23 and missed all six of their tries from distance in the third.

The Morris brothers accounted for the first nine Suns points of the fourth, with Marcus canning a 3 and Markieff hitting three 2-point field goals. Later, Markieff's slam on a feed from Bledsoe capped a 7-0 run that had the hosts back in front by nine.

It was nine once more on Dragic's layup with 2:24 to play but out of a timeout, Butler put in a layup and Brooks stepped into a 3 to force a timeout with Phoenix ahead by just four.

Rose and Gasol missed layups on the next Chicago trip but Phoenix rushed a shot, leading to Brooks' layup at the other end that cut it to two.

Then with time winding down on the shot clock, Bledsoe drove hard into Joakim Noah and got a floater to go off the glass, pushing it back to a two- possession game with 10 seconds to play. His free throws after Butler missed a contested layup sealed the win.

"It is unfortunate but if we want to get where we want to go, we've got to find ways to win these types of games," Rose said.

Game Notes

Butler scored 22 points and Brooks had 21 ... The Bulls fell to 1-2 on a six- game road trip, but they have four days off before playing against in Houston on Feb. 4 ... Chicago will head home after this road trip for nine of its next 10 games.