National Basketball Association
Chicago at Phoenix
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, January 30, 2015
Where: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
The Phoenix Suns look to punctuate a franchise-record eight-game homestand with one final victory when they host the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Phoenix is 5-2 during the long stay at home after posting a 106-98 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday and has won 15 of its last 21 games. Chicago will be playing the second night of a back-to-back after succumbing 123-118 in double-overtime against the struggling Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
The loss to the Lakers continued the fall of the Bulls, who have lost eight of their last 13 games while giving several uninspired efforts. There are published reports stating a high amount of conflict between coach Tom Thibodeau and the front office is percolating and that the unrest is contributing to the sustained substandard effort. Phoenix had five players in double figures in the 106-98 win over the Wizards with guard Goran Dragic leading the way with 20 points.TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN Chicago, FSN Arizona (Phoenix)ABOUT THE BULLS (30-18):
Shooting guard Jimmy Butler, in his fourth NBA season, was named as an Eastern Conference reserve for the All-Star Game, joining power forward Pau Gasol. “He got better and better day by day and all of a sudden you take a look back to where he was when he first came in and you say he improved a lot,” Thibodeau told reporters. “But sometimes it goes unnoticed. It’s been years in the making, this is steady progress and hopefully he’ll continue to improve.” Butler matched his career high of 35 points against the Lakers and is averaging 20.4 points.ABOUT THE SUNS (27-20):
Reserve point guard Isaiah Thomas is averaging 15.4 points but expressed he needs to focus a bit more on driving to the baskets than pulling up for shots. “I’m shooting jumpers a little bit too much,” Thomas told reporters. “The shots are going in but I’ve still got to mix it up. That will make it tougher for the defense to know what I’m doing.” Thomas scored 18 points and made four 3-pointers in the win over Washington.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Chicago has won nine of the past 11 meetings, including the last five in Phoenix.
2. Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds against Los Angeles for his eighth straight double-double.
3. Suns SG Gerald Green is 4-of-16 shooting over the last two games.PREDICTION:
Suns 108, Bulls 94
Stats and Records