National Basketball Association
Preview
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
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Chicago 30-18 L1 13-11 17-7 2-1 28-17 4-3 18-11
Phoenix 27-20 W1 14-9 13-11 1-4 26-16 6-4 13-14
Last Meeting
Chicago Phoenix
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
2/4/14 CHI 101 PHO 92 101 44 44.9 92 47 38.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago C. Boozer 19 42.9 1
Phoenix G. Dragic 24 60.0 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago J. Noah 14 2 12
Phoenix M. Plumlee 10 5 5
Assists Player  
Chicago J. Butler 4
Phoenix G. Green 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago J. Butler 994 47.0 312
Phoenix E. Bledsoe 877 45.1 237
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago P. Gasol 598 143 455
Phoenix M. Morris 298 62 236
Assists Player  
Chicago D. Rose 205
Phoenix E. Bledsoe 308
Quickchart Matchup
Chicago Off vs  Phoenix Defense
102.3 Points For
105.1 Points Against
44.3 FG%
45.5 FG%
45.7 Reb
44.7 Reb
Phoenix Off vs  Chicago Defense
107.3 Points For
99.9 Points Against
46.6 FG%
44.2 FG%
44.7 Reb
43.1 Reb