Bulls back at home to host Knicks

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls hope to get Joakim Noah back when they host the New York Knicks Thursday at the United Center.

Noah has missed the last four games because of a sprained ankle and is listed as probable tonight. The Bulls could use his presence and energy in their return home after a two-game road trip (1-1).

The big man is averaging 8.9 points and 9.6 rebounds for Chicago, which won its third straight game with a 93-75 win at Miami on Sunday and dropped a 93-86 decision against Atlanta the following night. Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, Taj Gibson added 15 and 17 rebounds, and Pau Gasol added a double- double of 13 points and 12 boards.

Derrick Rose recorded 14 points, eight assists and five rebounds in the loss. The Bulls struggled from the field, making 37.6 percent, and connected on six of their 29 3-point attempts.

"We had a couple shots go in and out on us," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "You have to give (the Hawks) credit. They made big plays."

Chicago lost despite a 57-40 rebounding advantage and is 4-5 at home.

The Knicks are only 5-22 this season and have lost two in a row and 12 of the past 13 games. In Tuesday's 107-87 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Carmelo Anthony led the hosts with 26 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. netted 14.

New York shot 44 percent from the floor and made 5-of-21 3-pointers. Amare Stoudemire and Jason Smith scored 10 points apiece for the Knicks, who trailed, 36-24, after the first quarter.

"I thought the start was not the right way to start a professional basketball game," said Knicks coach Derek Fisher. "Guys that start the game need to be mentally and physically ready to play."

Fisher's team is 2-11 outside of Madison Square Garden this season.

The Knicks dropped a 104-80 decision to the Bulls in the season opener on Oct. 29, as Anthony scored 14 points. Gibson and Gasol scored 22 and 21 points, respectively, in that one for Chicago, which will host the Knicks on March 28 and is 8-2 in the past 10 meetings.

New York has lost six straight games at the United Center.