Suns beat Bulls on huge game by Ayton

The Suns fought back before halftime, then set the tone for the second half by scoring the third quarter's first 13 points

Behind 28 points and 19 rebounds from Deandre Ayton, the visiting Phoenix Suns rallied from down 10 points at halftime to beat the Chicago Bulls 112-104 on Saturday.

Phoenix, playing the second leg of a back-to-back, began its current, three-game road swing on Friday trying unsuccessfully to mount a second-half comeback at reigning NBA champion Toronto. Saturday's contest in Chicago followed a different arc. Chicago led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter. Coby White came off the bench to set the pace, finishing with a career-high 33 points.

Suns fight back

Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio Wikimedia Commons

But the Suns chipped away before halftime, then set the tone for the second half by scoring the third quarter's first 13 points. A 10-point deficit became a three-point lead in less than four minutes.

Phoenix took its first lead since the first quarter when Devin Booker knocked down a 3-pointer, one of the five he made on the night en route to a team-high 29 points. Booker also collected five rebounds and five assists. With Booker operating on the perimeter and Ayton dominating on the interior — a performance that included 10 offensive rebounds — the Suns outscored the Bulls in the second half 65-47.

Rubio flirts with triple-double

Ricky Rubio flirted with a triple-double for Phoenix with 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. His seven boards were second to Ayton's 19, and contributed to Phoenix's 47-38 rebound edge for the game.

Phoenix held Chicago to 43.4 percent shooting from the floor, though the Bulls finished 36.8 percent from behind the 3-point arc. White's 7-for-13 performance from 3-point range led the way, with Thaddeus Young going 3 of 5 from deep en route to 13 points.

Zach LaVine scored 20 points for the Bulls, but shot just 8 of 20 from the floor and 2 of 8 from behind the arc. LaVine finished with a team-high five assists, but committed another team high with seven turnovers. The Sun forced the Bulls into 25 turnovers overall.