The Bulls capped off a stretch of four games in five nights on Saturday with a 93-85 win over the New York Knicks, who entered the game on a five-game winning streak. The win is Chicago’s first over a quality NBA team and they’ll look to extend their winning streak on Tuesday in their rematch over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The win over New York came as both Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire were sidelined with injuries. But the Knicks have still been able to win games without their two stars, as proven by their 20-point drubbing of the Miami Heat just two nights earlier. Chicago applied their trademark defense and in the end was able to pull out the victory and move to three games above .500. They now have a three-game winning streak as well.
The Bulls are 8-2 this season when holding opponents under 90 points, and 39-4 dating back to last season.
The Bulls defense was exceptionally tough on Saturday as they ran the Knicks off of every three-point shot, forcing them to shoot 8-23 from beyond the arc and 27-84 (32 percent) in the game. Chicago is 4-1 this season when forcing opponents to shoot below .400 from the field. Marco Belinelli had his second-straight strong outing as he scored 22 points and made four of his six three-point tries. Marco led the Bulls in scoring for most of the game. Luol Deng (22 points), Carlos Boozer (12 points, 10 rebounds), Joakim Noah (10 points, 11 rebounds), Nate Robinson (14 points, eight assists, six rebounds) and Jimmy Butler (eight points, seven rebounds) all played well in the game. Chicago also dominated the points in the paint category (28-18), outrebounded New York (47-40) and was a perfect 18-18 from the free-throw line.
Taj Gibson didn’t get an opportunity to contribute to the Bulls victory as he received two quick technical fouls and was ejected from the game. The ejection was uncharacteristic for Taj and also funny when you consider Rasheed Wallace – a technical foul magnet – was on the court at the same time. Nate Robinson, although he did score 14 points in the game, was 4-15 from the field.
Joakim Noah, after setting a career-highs in points and rebounds against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, had another career-high on Saturday, this one, however, was more dubious. Noah turned the ball over nine times, contributing to Chicago’s 19 giveaways in the game. Kirk Hinrich (three points, three assists) also suffered another injury, this one to his left elbow. Hinrich played just shy of 15 minutes in the game and logged no minutes in the second half.
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