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May 29, 2024

Suns Complete Historic 23-Point Comeback Behind Durant’s 43 Points, Game-Winner

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Jan 23, 2024

The Phoenix Suns pulled off an improbable 23-point comeback victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, overcoming a late deficit thanks largely to Kevin Durant’s heroics. Durant scored 43 points, including the game-winning jumper with 3.4 seconds left to cap Phoenix’s 115-113 win.

First Half: Bulls Build Big Lead as Suns Struggle

The Bulls jumped out to an early double-digit lead in the first quarter behind hot three-point shooting and dominant play in the paint from center Nikola Vucevic. Chicago led 36-26 after one period and extended that advantage to 19 points at halftime.

Devin Booker struggled mightily for Phoenix in the first half, shooting just 2-of-11 from the field. The Suns as a team connected on only 38.5% of their shots. On the other end, the Bulls were clicking on all cylinders offensively. In addition to Vucevic’s 17 first-half points, Zach LaVine poured in 16 to help build Chicago’s 68-49 halftime edge.

Halftime Stats

Team FG% 3PT% Points in Paint Fast Break Pts
Bulls 52.3% 47.1% 30 13
Suns 38.5% 20.0% 24 4

Second Half: Durant Takes Over as Suns Chip Away

Things didn’t look much brighter for Phoenix early in the third quarter, as Chicago pushed its lead to 23 multiple times. However, the Suns started chipping away thanks to increased defensive intensity and Durant heating up offensively.

The former MVP scored 15 points in the third period on an array of tough jumpers and drives to the basket. That helped Phoenix trim the deficit to 13 entering the fourth quarter. Durant continued his brilliance in the final period, pouring in 19 points to finish with 43. His jumper with 3.4 seconds remaining capped the incredible comeback.

Booker shook off his woeful first half to contribute 19 second-half points of his own. The Suns backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Booker combined for 15 assists. Phoenix’s improved defense also keyed the rally, as the team held Chicago to just 26 fourth-quarter points on 33.3% shooting.

Final Stats

Team FG% 3PT% Rebounds Turnovers
Bulls 46.3% 43.8% 47 16
Suns 45.1% 34.8% 44 10

Looking Ahead: Rematch Set for March as Playoff Races Heat Up

The Suns and Bulls won’t have to wait long for a rematch, as they are scheduled to square off again in Chicago on March 3. That late-season contest could have major playoff seeding implications.

Phoenix’s victory Monday moved its record to 33-13, just 1.5 games behind the first-place Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference. The Suns are eyeing the top seed and home-court advantage. Chicago sits fifth in the East at 26-23 but is just three games out of second place.

Considering how evenly matched these teams appear, their next matchup figures to be another thriller. The Suns will have revenge on their mind after nearly letting this game slip away. However, Chicago’s high-powered offense presents problems, as evidenced by its 68 first-half points.

Beyond the head-to-head meetings between these clubs, Monday’s contest gave an early look at Durant’s MVP candidacy as he makes his case to claim the award for the first time since 2013-14. His clutch performance against the Bulls embodied his value in turning Phoenix into a true title contender.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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