Bulls open up road trip against Suns

10:57 AM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls begin their annual "circus trip" Wednesday night when they head to the US Airways Center to battle the Phoenix Suns.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus makes its yearly trip to the United Center, so the Bulls play the next five on the road. They've played six of the first seven this season at home, so picking up sky miles seems fair.

On Monday night in Chicago, the Bulls surrendered 100 points for the first time in 15 games, dating back to last season, falling 101-95 to the Boston Celtics.

"It was bad, it was really bad," said Luol Deng, who ranks second in the NBA in minutes played in the early going this season. "They shot a high percentage the whole game."

The Bulls still rank in the top five in the NBA in points allowed. They've held opponents under 90 points three times this season and are 3-0 in those contests. Chicago went 31-2 in games last season when opponents scored sub-90 points.

Kirk Hinrich, who has been doing a decent job replacing former MVP Derrick Rose, is sidelined with a right hip injury.

The Suns have defended their home court well this season. They are 3-1 at the US Airways Center (the first time they've built that record at home since 2009-10), but home-court honor is about the only thing the Suns defend.

Phoenix is 29th in the league in points allowed and 28th in field-goal percentage against. Five of the Suns' eight opponents this season have gone for over 100 points.

The Suns have trailed by double-digits in seven of their first eight games this season, but have won all three times that occurred at home.

On Monday, at home against the Denver Nuggets, the Suns toppled George Karl's team, 110-100. It was the Suns' third win in their last four and seven players scored in double-figures, including bench players Shannon Brown and Markieff Morris.

"I thought we played well. We had a lot of guys that stepped up and I thought did some good things," said head coach Alvin Gentry. "I thought Markieff had one of his best games of the season. Once again, Shannon Brown was good, and Goran (Dragic) has been pretty consistent in what he's done."

Dragic has been a steady replacement for the L.A.-bound Steve Nash. Dragic is averaging 16.6 ppg. and 7.5 apg.

The Bulls have won six of the last seven meetings as well as three straight and four of their last five in Phoenix.

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