BULLS 110 KNICKS 106 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
For the second time in 13 days, the Bulls found a way to beat the best team in the Eastern Conference. Chicago knocked off the Knicks 110-106 on Friday night behind 29 points from Luol Deng.
New York suffered only its second loss of the season at Madison Square and dropped to 19-7 on the season.
Chicago opened the game with a 12-2 lead in the first five minutes of the contest while Joakim Noah scored nine points in the first quarter. J.R. Smith drilled a 28-foot step-back jumper at the conclusion of the period to provide some life for the home squad entering the second period.
New York carried the momentum from Smith’s long bomb into the second quarter with an 8-2 run lead to trim the Bulls lead to just five points. Chicago quickly answered on an 11-0 spurt that was capped off by a Marco Belinelli 3-pointer to push the Bulls advantage to 53-37.
New York’s frustrations seemed to boil over in the second half as Smith and Mike Woodson were hit with technical fouls in third quarter. Carmelo Anthony was ejected after arguing a call at the 6:45 mark of the fourth quarter and Woodson was sent to the locker room a minute later. With over four minutes left in the final quarter, Noah and Tyson Chandler exchanged shoves and had to be separated. Both centers were tossed from the game with the Bulls still holding a double digit lead.
Chicago held off the scrappy and shorthanded Knicks down the stretch to improve to 15-10 and 7-5 on the road. Kirk Hinrich scored 16 points and Belinelli added 22 for the Bulls.
Anthony posted a team-high 29 points, Smith contributed 26 points and 10 boards off the pine, and Raymond Felton tallied 21 in the defeat.
"I think, overall, we missed shots. We had a lot of good looks early. It was almost a carbon copy of how we played in Chicago. We had great looks. We couldn't get stops early. That is a bad combination." -- Mike Woodson
Anthony had a productive offensive outing with 29 points on 10-of-25 shooting from the floor. He also hit all eight of his free throw attempts and registered three boards in the defeat.
New York outscored Chicago 46-34 inside the paint and won the fastbreak battle 16-10.
The Knicks will have a day to prepare for the final game of the current long homestand as the squad welcomes the Wolves to MSG on Sunday night.