Coby White scores career-high 33 points, but Bulls drop 8th straight with 112-104 loss to Suns

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CHICAGO — It had been a while since the Bulls saw a game like this from rookie guard Coby White, a reason to be optimistic about one of the most important pieces of their young core.

White knocked down seven 3-pointers, matching a career high, and scored a career-best 33 points, but it was not enough in a 112-104 loss to the Suns on Saturday night at the United Center.

The Bulls, who lost their eighth straight game, turned the ball over a season-worst 26 times, leading to 30 Suns points.

As the Bulls’ depth has thinned recently because of injuries, the calls for White to be inserted into the starting lineup only have grown louder. But coach Jim Boylen reiterated during the shootaround Saturday morning that he likes White in his current role, which allows him to provide scoring off the bench.

“He’s finding his voice and he’s learning to play that position,” Boylen said. “That’s important too. Coby has more of a voice with that second group, and we’re asking him to run that group as efficiently as he can and learn, so it keeps him there.”

The Bulls had seven inactive players Saturday and were left with just nine dressed and healthy enough to play.

The players who were healthy put together one of their best halves in weeks, carrying a 10-point advantage into halftime. They forced 16 turnovers in the first half, which resulted in 24 points, lessening the size advantage of the Suns’ big men over the depleted Bulls frontcourt. The Bulls sent double teams all throughout the first half to guard Suns center Deandre Ayton, who had six turnovers before the break, already a season high.

Ayton made an adjustment in the second half, however, committing just one turnover as he started to dominate the Bulls inside, especially during the final quarter. He scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the fourth to finish with 28 points and 19 rebounds.


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