Saturday, November 08, 2008
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: A 'Wicked' weekend

Shaq sits as Rose leads Bulls over Suns

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[November 08, 2008]  CHICAGO (AP) -- Reserve Ben Gordon scored 23 points, rookie Derrick Rose had 18 points, six assists and several dazzling plays, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns 100-83 on Friday night.

The Suns played without Shaquille O'Neal, who got the night off as part of a plan to rest him periodically throughout the season. O'Neal is expected back in the lineup Saturday at Milwaukee.

CivicAmare Stoudemire, coming off a 49-point performance against Indiana on Wednesday, finished with 26 points and seven rebounds for the Suns.

O'Neal, dressed in a suit, watched on the bench as Chicago center Joakim Noah had nine points and 14 rebounds. He came averaging three points and 4.6 rebounds.

The Bulls pulled away in the first half, scoring 16 unanswered points to jump out to a 31-17 lead in the second quarter. Gordon scored seven points during the span.

Rose hit a jumper to put the Bulls up by 20 early in the third quarter, and Gordon nailed a 3-pointer to make it 72-45 late in the third. Rose brought the fans to their feet with a dunk over Leandro Barbosa in the fourth quarter.

Before the game, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro shuffled his starting lineup. He moved Thabo Sefolosha and Tyrus Thomas to the bench and started Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Gray.


Thomas gave the Bulls energy off the bench with 14 points and seven rebounds.

With the Suns playing four games in five nights, Steve Nash and Stoudemire sat the entire fourth quarter. Nash played only 24 minutes and finished with six points and five assists.

Del Negro got a little payback at the Suns, who spurned him as a head coaching candidate in the offseason.

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Nursing Homes

Del Negro spent the past two years in the Suns' front office after a three-year stint as a radio analyst. He got promoted to assistant general manager from director of player personnel and was interested in replacing Mike D'Antoni after he left for New York, but a lack of experience kept Del Negro off the list of finalists and the Suns hired Terry Porter.

Notes:@ Suns F Matt Barnes missed the game to be with his fiancee, who gave birth to twins. Barnes is also expected to miss Saturday's game against the Bucks. ... Rookie Robin Lopez got his first start at center for the Suns and had a highlight block at the rim on Luol Deng early in the third quarter. Lopez finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. ... Hinrich left the game in second half with a sprained thumb.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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