Rose, Bulls commence homestand versus Suns

( - Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls will open a seven- game homestand Saturday versus the new-look Phoenix Suns at the United Center.

The Bulls are coming off Friday's 100-91 road loss against the Detroit Pistons in which Rose appeared out of rhythm with eight points and six turnovers in 31 minutes. Rose missed Wednesday's practice with what coach Tom Thibodeau called "travel issues" during a return from vacation after the All-Star break.

"Being one of the leaders, for anyone to miss, I wouldn't want it to be me," Rose said. "It hurt. I apologized to the guys and that was it."

Jimmy Butler scored 30 points on 9-of-18 shooting and Taj Gibson netted 15 off the bench for the Bulls, who shot 42.3 percent and committed 20 turnovers for 26 Detroit points. The Pistons took control of the game in the third quarter with a 32-15 scoring advantage.

The Central-leading Bulls, who had a four-game winning streak stopped, are third in the East and have a 15-11 record at the United Center.

Chicago is scheduled to host Milwaukee, Charlotte, Minnesota, LA Clippers, Washington and Oklahoma City.

Phoenix has struggled with three straight losses and six in the previous seven tries, and is coming off Friday's 111-109 setback at Minnesota.

Markieff Morris led seven players in double digits with 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting and his brother, Marcus, scored 14 points. Gerald Green, Eric Bledsoe and Archie Goodwin scored 12 points apiece, Alex Len had 11 and 10 rebounds, and P.J. Tucker posted 11 points and nine boards.

It didn't matter Phoenix had a 67-59 scoring advantage in the second half.

"We just made some bad plays down the stretch, our defense has to get better," Bledsoe said.

The Suns had won three in a row against Minnesota and are winless in their last six road games. They have a 13-15 mark as the guest and will host the Boston Celtics Monday.

Phoenix defeated Chicago, 99-93, on Jan. 30 in the Valley of the Sun, as Bledsoe and Rose scored 23 points apiece. The Bulls have won nine of the last 12 games in this series.

Suns guard Brandon Knight is expected to make his debut after coming over via trade with Milwaukee on Thursday.

Phoenix shipped disgruntled guard Goran Dragic and his brother Zoran to the Miami Heat in exchange for two first-round picks, Danny Granger and John Salmons, who came from the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Suns weren't done. As part of a huge, three-team deal, they shipped guard Tyler Ennis and center Miles Plumlee to the Bucks and received Knight. The trade also cost them the Los Angeles Lakers' first-round pick this year, which is protected through the top five. That prime selection went to the Philadelphia 76ers, who sent reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter- Williams to the Bucks.

Phoenix then parted ways with guard Isaiah Thomas, sending the guard to the Boston Celtics for guard Marcus Thornton and Cleveland's first-round pick in the 2016 draft, which is top-10 protected.

The Suns are a half-game off the eighth spot in the West.