Pacers overcome Atlanta woes to secure road win.
There were four games on the NBA schedule on Tuesday night, with the Chicago Bulls able to stop the high flying Phoenix Suns at home with an impressive win.
The Suns entered the encounter on a five-game winning streak, but they were unable to extend it further with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer registering double-doubles.
Boozer had 19 points and 12 rebounds while Noah added 14 points and 14 rebounds as Chicago bounced back from their ugly loss in Sacramento the previous night.
“You could have used an excuse if you chose to do so, but that’s what I love about the team,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said, as reported by ESPN.
“They come out and they’re going to fight. They picked themselves up and did it together, and you could tell in the first quarter the commitment to get back, the commitment to get to put their bodies in front of people and take charges, make hustle plays, make effort plays.”
Jimmy Butler and D.J. Augustin had 18 points apiece as the Bulls move to 24-24 for the season, while Goran Dragic (24 points) could not prevent his team from slipping to 29-19.
Both teams have been linked with possible trade moves before the February 20 deadline, although it remains to be seen whether or not Pau Gasol and Carmelo Anthony will arrive before the summer.
Elsewhere, the Indiana Pacers finally overcame a troublesome road trip to Atlanta as they beat the Hawks with 22 points from David West and 18 from Paul George.
The Pacers regained the best record in the league (38-10), and having ended a run of 12 straight regular-season losses away at Atlanta, coach Frank Vogel was delighted considering the two teams could meet again in the playoffs.
None of the starters for the Hawks were able to make it into double figures as Indiana move to 23-0 when holding opponents under 90 points.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves were able to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers with 31 points and 17 rebounds from Kevin Love, although Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni will have been relieved to have both Steve Nash and Steve Blake back in action.
Nash had seven points and nine assists in 25 minutes and admitted after the game that although they had lost the game, he was just delighted to be able to play again after nearly four months out with on-going back issues.
In the other game of the night, the Charlotte Bobcats picked up an impressive road win against the Golden State Warriors, with Al Jefferson posting up 30 points and 13 rebounds as the Warriors could only shoot 31.2 percent from the field.
“We’ve got to find a way to get out of this,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “We are, right now, taking the life out of the building.”
Doubts remain over Golden State’s ability to compete with the best teams in the league given their reliance on the jump shot, and while they can entertain with their three-point shooting displays, when they endure off nights like that suffered on Tuesday, they undoubtedly struggle to put points on the board.
Indiana Pacers 89-85 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Lakers 99-109 Minnesota Timberwolves
Chicago Bulls 101-92 Phoenix Suns
Charlotte Bobcats 91-75 Golden State Warriors