BULLS 108 KNICKS 101| MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
Back-to-back games against two of the top defensive teams in the league proved to be a daunting task for a shorthanded Knicks squad. On Thursday night, New York suffered a defeat to Indiana without Carmelo Anthony due to a one-game suspension and on Friday, the team announced Marcus Camby will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a sprained plantar fascia. Add Tyson Chandler’s sore neck, Raymond Felton’s absence, and Amar’e Stoudemire’s limited court time to the list of obstacles for the East’s No. 2 team.
Chicago feasted on the orange and blue from the opening tip by jumping out to a 15-6 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in a 108-101 victory at Madison Square Garden.
Luol Deng scored 21 of his 33 points in the first half to fuel an extremely sharp performance from the road team. In fact, the Bulls shot 57.5 percent from the floor and 4-of-6 behind the arc in the first 24 minutes while the Knicks could not find any sort of offensive rhythm.
The Chicago lead expanded to 25 points in that first half as Anthony only shot 4-of-14 from the floor and New York managed to hit just 29.8 percent of its field goal attempts.
With eight minutes remaining in the final stanza, the Knicks tried to muster a comeback by posting a 13-5 run and cutting the lead to 14 points. New York put together another massive 19-6 spurt over a four-minute time span and Chicago led by seven points at the 1:07 mark. However, the Bulls withstood the momentum gained from New York and they escaped with a victory, improving to 20-14 on the season.
Anthony scored a game-high 39 points after only registering 10 in the first half. Chandler hauled down 18 boards, and J.R. Smith recorded 13 points off the pine. The Knicks fell to 23-13 and have dropped all three games to Chicago this season.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony deserves a ton of credit for fighting until the final buzzer. He gutted out 45 minutes of court time, tallied 39 points, eight boards, and five assists. After starting 1-of-11 from the floor, Anthony quickly turned it around by hitting his next 13-of-21 shots.
The Knicks have lost three consecutive games for the first time in the Mike Woodson era.
The Knicks will hit the practice floor on Saturday afternoon before a Sunday matinee contest against the Hornets at MSG. On Monday afternoon, the team will board a plane for a trip across to the pond to London.