BULLS 93 KNICKS 85 | UNITED CENTER
How it happened:
As expected, the Knicks and Bulls exchanged punches for four quarters in an almost dead even contest. Two of the top defensive teams in the league entered the game without the services of Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose.
Chicago defended its home court while snapping New York’s five-game winning streak in the 93-85 victory over the Knicks on Saturday night.
As Anthony sat out for the second consecutive game due to a laceration of the finger, the Knicks battled down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter. At the 6:47 mark of the final stanza, Tyson Chandler was whistled for his fifth personal foul and on the next possession Luol Deng bulldozed J.R. Smith for a layup, providing Chicago with a 77-73 lead. The Bulls never looked back.
Chandler was unable to adequately defend the rim while trying to avoid fouling out of the game. Chicago took advantage and attacked the paint with every opportunity, which led to a 10-5 run after Smith connected on a 3-pointer with 2:29 on the clock.
Raymond Felton played an admirable game once again, scoring a game-high 27 points. Tyson Chandler continued to provide a presence on the boards by ripping down 18 of the Knicks 40 rebounds.
New York protected the rock in the second half by only committing three turnovers but its shooting woes eventually led to the defeat. The Knicks finished 32.1 percent from the floor and 34.8 percent behind the arc.
Marco Belinelli was a key contributor for the Bulls as he scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half. The shooting guard was on fire during his first 20 minutes of action. Belinelli connected on 3-of-4 long bombs to help generate offense for the home squad.
Chicago improved to 11-8 on the season and defeated one of the hottest teams in the league despite losing Taj Gibson in the first half. Gibson was ejected for arguing a call and left the Bulls shorthanded on the frontline.
Kirk Hinrich did not play in the second half due to an elbow injury and the Bulls were forced to utilize Nate Robison at the point guard spot. Robinson posted 14 points and eight assists.
The Knicks were successful on the road trip by winning two of three but the Saturday night loss dropped the squad to 14-5.
“They did a good job of packing the paint and forcing us into some tough shots. I thought we got every look we wanted but we just didn’t make shots tonight.” – Tyson Chandler
Felton carried the offensive load with 27 points in 38 minutes. The point guard also dished out five dimes and he grabbed five boards. In two games, Felton has scored a combined 54 points for the Knicks with Anthony sidelined.
28 points in the paint for Chicago as opposed to 18 for New Yrok.
The Knicks concluded the long three-game road trip and will finally return to New York on Sunday morning. However, the team will face a quick turnaround with a contest against the Nuggets at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night at 7:30 PM.