Suns Keep Bulls Winless


Jason Kidd knows the reshaped Phoenix Suns are still figuring one another out. That's why it's hard to tell how good they might be in the highly competitive Western Conference.

"We want to sit back and let Portland and the Lakers and Utah and San Antonio get all the attention while we just lay in the weeds," Kidd said after helping the Suns beat the winless Chicago Bulls 103-80 Tuesday night.

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  • "We have a lot of different guys, a different look from last year," he added. "Some times we will look good, like we did in the first half. And some times we'll look like a different team as we did in part of the second. We just have to work to get through that."

    Kidd, Tom Gugliotta and Cliff Robinson scored 19 apiece for the Suns, who blocked 14 shots and built a 28-point lead in the third quarter.

    Penny Hardaway, the Suns' major offseason acquisition, added 18 points.

    Elton Brand scored 11 points for the Bulls, whose 0-4 start is their worst since losing their first nine games in 1967-68.

    "At times it seemed we could match their scoring, but other times we had lapses," Brand said.

    "When we did stop them, we didn't keep them off the board and they had a lot of putbacks, a lot of points inside," said Bulls coach Tim Floyd, who turned to a young lineup in the final quarter.

    The Suns were ahead 87-65 entering the fourth quarter. When Chicago's reserves opened the fourth with 10 straight points to get within 12, the Suns reinserted Hardaway, Kidd and Gugliotta and reestablished control.

    "We were just not concentrating and executing well when we got up those 20-plus points," Kidd said. "We were lucky to get away with that."

    Phoenix center Luc Longley was scoreless in his return to Chicago, where he played on three championships teams.

    Kidd toyed with the Bulls in a 18-7 run closing the first half as Phoenix took a 64-47 lead. He grabbed an offensive rebound and made a beautiful no-look pass to Gugliotta for a basket, drove the length of the floor for a layup, converted a three-point play after taking a backdoor pass and then hit two free throws.

    The Bulls couldn't contain Gugliotta, who scored 16 first-half points and consistently sailed down the baseline past Chicago's defenders. The Suns shot 61 percent and also blocked eight shots.

    The lead grew to 28 in the third quarter as rookie Shawn Marion scored nine points and had two emphatic dunks, one on a behind-the-back pass from Gugliotta.

    Gugliotta made 9 of 11 shots and had 12 rebounds.

    Notes

  • Longley said he felt "strange" and "weird" when he walked on the United Center court for practice Tuesday morning in his return to the city where he helped the Bulls win three titles. "It's a shame to see them go through what they're going through but I guess it's necessary," Longley said of the Bulls, who traded him after the lockout ended last January. Longley was greeted by a mild chorus of "Luuk" as he was introduced.
  • Suns center Oliver Miller was ejected after getting his second flagrant foul in the fourth quarter.
  • The Bulls started 0-3 in 1982-83 and 1990-91.

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