Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points off the bench, Pau Gasol had 19 points and 12 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls coasted to a 111-80 win over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
Jimmy Butler added 18 points and Taj Gibson scored 14 for the Bulls, who won for the fifth time in their last six games to move within two games of idle Cleveland for first place in the Central Division and second place in the Eastern Conference.
"It was a really important game for us playing at home," said Mirotic. "We started great, especially on defense ... and we played good on both sides."
The NBA-worst Knicks (14-60) became the first team in the franchise's 69-year history to lose 60 games, doing so with 18 days left in the regular season.
Andrea Bargnani scored 14 points for New York, which has lost seven in a row. Langston Galloway added 12 points and Ricky Ledo had 11.
Gasol scored 11 points in the first quarter and the Bulls shot better than 57 percent, leading by as many as 13 points on Gibson's late tip in.
Mirotic had 11 in the second, including a 3 that gave Chicago a 17-point lead. The Bulls stretched it to 22 before halftime and went into the break leading by 20 at 54-34.
Chicago outscored New York 30-19 in the third quarter, with their 11-for-11 mark at the free throw line providing the difference. It was a 31-point lead going into the fourth and reached as high as 36.
Aaron Brooks scored 12 for Chicago and Mike Dunleavy had 10 points ... The Knicks finished with 59 losses four times: 1962-63, 1985-86, 2005-06 and 2007-08 ... The Bulls won all three meetings against the Knicks this season ... New York hosts city rival Brooklyn on Wednesday ... The Bulls play Milwaukee on the road Wednesday.