The Suns look to avoid losing three in a row at the US Airways Center for the first time this season Saturday night while trying to continue their home dominance of the Bulls.
Phoenix (25-19) has not lost more than 11 home games in any of the last four seasons, but is 12-9 at the site of next month’s All-Star game.
On Thursday, the Suns were whistled for three technical fouls in the first half of a 114-104 defeat to San Antonio in their first home contest since a 3-3 road swing.
“We just have to do a much better job of keeping our composure,” Suns coach Terry Porter said.
The Suns last lost three in a row at the US Airways Center from Feb. 24-March 7, but have a good chance to prevent that from happening again in this contest.
Phoenix has won nine of its last 10 home meetings versus Chicago, including the most recent, 112-102 on Nov. 15, 2007. The Bulls won 116-103 on Feb. 11, 2007 for their most recent road victory versus the Suns.
Chicago (20-27), though, hopes to continue its recent surge after winning 109-88 at Sacramento on Friday for its second straight win after losing five in a row.
“I’m happy we won and to be able to be a part of it, but (Saturday) is Shaq so you don’t want to get too high,” said Chicago forward Joakim Noah, who had 17 points against the Kings.
While the Suns have fared well against the Bulls at home, they lost 100-83 at Chicago on Nov. 7. Shaquille O’Neal missed that game with a knee injury, but is healthy and playing well heading into this contest.
O’Neal, though, was held to 13 points against the Spurs, marking the first time in 20 games he failed to score at least 15. The All-Star center did move into seventh place on the NBA’s scoring list with 26,954 points.
The 36-year-old has scored 24 points in each of his last two games versus Chicago.
Steve Nash had 16 points and 18 assists versus San Antonio and passed Porter for 11th place on the league’s career list with 7,172 assists.
“It’s not something you really think about, but to be on a list of all those players you admire so much is a fantastic accomplishment,” said Nash, who was held to six points and five assists at Chicago in November.
All-Star Amare Stoudemire had 28 points and 10 rebounds against San Antonio for his second straight double-double. He is averaging 21.0 points and 9.9 boards in 10 career games versus Chicago.
The Bulls look for a third straight win after opening their seven-game road trip with a 109-108 overtime loss at Minnesota on Sunday.
Deng is averaging 17.5 points in 10 games since missing eight with a sprained ankle and 21.7 on 56.5 percent shooting on the road trip.
Gordon, meanwhile, had 23 against the Suns earlier this season and is averaging 27.5 points in four games at Phoenix.