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Phoenix Suns Tied 57-57 with Bulls at Halftime in Bradley Beal Debut

© Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls are knotted at 57 apiece heading to halftime after the Suns squandered a huge first quarter lead.

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This is the Suns’ final game of their three-game road trip. Both teams are coming off victories to snap three-game losing streaks in their most recent games. The Suns defeated the Detroit Pistons 120-106 Sunday and the Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 130-113 Monday night.

First Quarter

Right away, we saw the impact of Bradley Beal. He had two early assists to Jusuf Nurkić, whose had problems getting his offensive game rolling lately. 

Nurkić had six points and three assists in the first three minutes. Beal got on the board early with two straight triples. He checked out with 5:52 left in the first after an awkward fall, but did come back in to start the second.

Nurkić’s and Beal’s hot starts were part of a 22-4 burst to begin the game for Phoenix. The team had really good pressuring defense leading to easy run outs on offense.

However, the Bulls then responded with a 16-5 run, highlighted by three straight triples from Alex Caruso.

Then, it was back-and-forth for the rest of the quarter. The Suns ended the first with 11 assists on 11 field goals and led 36-28 heading to the second. Kevin Durant once again spearheaded the scoring charge for Phoenix with 10 points to lead all scorers.

Second Quarter

The Suns came out sluggish to start the second quarter in the non-Kevin Durant minutes, despite having Beal out there. Phoenix only scored two points in the first five minutes.

After starting 2-for-3, Beal ended the first half shooting 2-for-9, looking a little bit winded as expected in his first game back.

Kevin Durant checked back in with the Suns with 5:21 remaining and Phoenix up 42-38. This was the same time Beal checked out.

Durant helped the Suns extend the lead to 51-42 quickly. However, Coby White led a big 7-0 run for Chicago to get the Bulls right back into it.

Then, Chicago took its first lead with under a minute to go in the half. The Suns did respond, but in the end it was tied after a bucket by Nikola Vučević with under two seconds to go.

Phoenix only shot 36% in the second quarter compared to 52% by the Bulls in a quarter Chicago won 29-21. The Suns only forced four Chicago turnovers and had seven of their own for the half.

Durant had 14 points and five assists in the half. Grayson Allen chipped in nine of his own. Nurkić had perhaps his best half of the year with eight points, five rebounds and five assists. Beal ended his first half back with eight points, three assists and two rebounds in 13 minutes.

As for the Bulls, they had four players end the half in double figures. Vučević led their team in scoring with 12.

Can the Suns find the same groove they had in the first quarter in the second half?

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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