CHICAGO - In past years, fans would circle dates on the calendar in anticipation of a challenge for the Bulls against one of the NBA's best teams.
That's not really the case anymore.
For the rebuilding squad, the contest to keep in mind are the ones in which they have a chance to win. That was the case on Tuesday night.
Already with a coaching changes this season, coming to town with a 7-14 record, and with the Bulls giving them a strong game in a meeting in Phoenix earlier in the month, it appeared the Suns might be a shot for Fred Hoiberg's team to get a boost in their sluggish start to the season.
Yet again, however, the Suns rose to set the Bulls down to yet another defeat, using a big start to the fourth quarter to win it 105-99 at the United Center on Tuesday evening.
Hoiberg's team has now dropped a season-high six-straight games and fall to 3-16 on the season, which continues to be the worst in the NBA.
Devin Booker did the most damage, knocking down five three-pointers and scoring a game-high 33 points while his teammate TJ Warren had 25. The latter had eight point in a 14-2 run to open up the final quarter by Phoenix that put the Bulls behind to stay.
While he wasn't nearly as good as his career-high 26 point effort against the Suns earlier in November, Lauri Markkanen's three-pointer with 22 seconds left got the Bulls within three points. But Warren kept Markkanen to just 14 points on the night when he blocked his three-point attempt in the final seconds to seal the victory. Justin Holiday led the Bulls with 25 points, including six three-pointers on the evening, while Kris Dunn had 24.
Now it's off to Denver on a quick turnaround to face the Nuggets in hopes of avoiding a seventh-straight defeat. They have 11 wins in the early going, so don't expect many to have that contest circled on the calendar for a win.