Rose-less Bulls top Knicks
Chicago, IL – The Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls avenged Sunday's overtime loss to the Knicks in impressive fashion.
And they did so with reigning MVP Derrick Rose back on the bench.
Richard Hamilton stepped up with 20 points and Luol Deng added 19 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's 98-86 win over New York despite Rose resting the ankle he injured in the opener of this home-and-home set.
Carmelo Anthony, who erupted for 43 points in Sunday's potential playoff preview, netted 29 in the setback, New York's fourth in 15 games under interim head coach Mike Woodson.
The loss dropped the Knicks into eighth place in the East's playoff race, just one game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks with nine to play.
The Bulls increased their cushion for the top seed in the conference to three games over the Miami Heat, accomplishing the feat despite Anthony going off for 11 points in the first quarter.
The Knicks scored just 10 in the second and never recovered.
Chicago, down 25-22 after 12 minutes, held New York to one field goal over the first eight minutes of the second. The Bulls went on a 17-3 run as a result, and Deng's leaner just before the halftime buzzer made it 47-35.
New York shot 4-of-21 (19 percent) from the field in the second.
After seeing its lead cut to three, 53-50 early in the third, the Bulls scored nine of the next 10 points -- six from Hamilton -- to rebuild their double- digit lead.
Hamilton finished with 18 in the third, and the Knicks were only as close as eight in the fourth.
Rose had missed 12 straight games due to a strained groin prior to Sunday's game...Chicago held a 47-32 rebounding advantage and pulled down 16 offensive boards...The Bulls scored 20 more second-chance points...New York's Tyson Chandler finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds in defeat...Kyle Korver chipped in 14 points off Chicago's bench.