Suns finally get 2,000th win with upset of Bulls
by Paul Coro, USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO — The 2K problem is no longer an epidemic.
Stuck on 1,999 franchise wins for five losses, the Phoenix Suns picked an unlikely scenario to become the fourth-fastest NBA franchise to reach 2,000 wins.
Having not won on the road in more than six weeks and dragging to its fourth road stop in five nights, the Suns were playing without Jared Dudley against a good Chicago Bulls team but cured the 2K bug with a thorough 97-81 victory Saturday night at United Center.
Over a five-game skid, the Suns enjoyed plenty of good starts. Over a 1-11 stretch entering Saturday, the Suns had chances to close out tight games. Amid 12 consecutive road losses, the Suns had spurts of brilliance doused by spells of incompetence.
For a night, the Suns had four solid quarters and were the active defensive team they envisioned being. That vision included the sight of Michael Beasley scoring like did Saturday with an eye-rubbing 20 points.
Suns power forward Luis Scola’s 14 points in the first 15 minutes got the Suns (13-26) going against the Bulls (20-15), who also played Friday night in New York but had a more confidence-inspiring win against the New York Knicks than the Suns’ blown opportunity at the Brooklyn Nets. With Dudley out, Wesley Johnson was the first wing sub and Beasley said he was surprised to be called upon with 8:57 until halftime. Beasley made 7 of 8 first-half shots for 14 points and a 49-42 lead at halftime, when rookie Kendall Marshall noted how he was taking better shots.
Beasley, arriving in a shirt reading “Misunderstood,” scored 20 in 21 minutes after having totals of six points and 34 minutes in the previous eight games.
“I was desperate for a game like this for a long time,” said Beasley, who had fallen out of the rotation for the first time in his career. “I just got to keep it consistent. I’m glad I got the opportunity. I stayed ready. I never stopped working. I want to forget this game and look forward to the next one. I’ve got to stay hungry. If you’re not playing, … [For more on Suns finally get 2,000th win with upset of Bulls, click here.]