The Knicks have been plagued with slow starts in ten of their last 11 games and this game was no different. The New Yorkers missed their first five shots, and Chicago jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. Carmelo Anthony was one for seven and J.R. Smith was one for four in the first quarter. The Bulls shot 58 per cent from the field to the Knicks’ 26 percent for a Bulls 29-18 lead.
The Knicks shooting woes continued as the Bulls extended their lead to 57-36 at halftime. The Bulls had a 10-2 run and led by as many as 25 points in the second quarter. The Knicks shot just 30 per cent for the half with Anthony scoring ten points at a four for 14 pace. Smith was two for nine for eight points and Jason Kidd missed all five shots that he took. Amare Stoudemire’s limited minutes were limited further when he drew his third foul with 9:25 left in the half.
The Bulls were led by forward Luol Deng who scored 21 points in the first half. The Bulls were 57.5 per cent on field goals and outscored the Knicks 11-5 on fast break points. The Bulls were four for six on three point shots while the Knicks missed all five threes that they put up.
The Bulls extended their 21 point lead to 23 points in the first 30 seconds of the second half off of a steal and layup by Deng. James White hit a three at the other end of the court to cut the lead back to 20 points. Tyson Chandler, who is first in the NBA in shooting percentage, joined Anthony, Smith, and Kidd in shooting futility, scoring just three for seven of his shots before heading for the bench.
Stoudemire collected his fourth foul with 6:18 left in the third quarter, but with Marcus Camby's recent injury, Coach Mike Woodson was forced to keep him in the game. Anthony found his shooting touch with 5:15 left in the quarter. After a layup and two three-pointers, the Knicks’ Most Valuable Player candidate cut the Bulls’ lead to 16 points, 69-53, and the Bulls called a timeout.
Pablo Prigioni picked up his fourth foul with 3:21 left in the period, but with Raymond Felton sidelined by an injury and Iman Schumpert not yet ready to return from his injury, Coach Woodson was forced to keep Prigioni in the game despite his foul trouble. Anthony slipped back into his shooting slump, missing his final two shots of the quarter and going eight for 22 after three quarters of play. The Bulls lead was 82-60 entering the fourth quarter as Deng upped his points total to 29, tying his season high.
Smith took the first shot of the fourth quarter; he missed that shot and was two for 14 for the game. Steve Novak scored his first basket of the game, a three, with 93 seconds gone in the final period. The Knicks produced an 8-2 run that caused a Bulls timeout with the score, 84-68. Stoudemire picked up his fifth foul with 8:48 left in the game and Smith picked up his fifth foul with 8:57 left to add to the Knicks’ foul problems.
The Knicks cut the Bulls lead to 13 points , but with free throws by both teams, a weakly contested 16-foot jump shot by Carlos Boozer, and a Deng jumper, the Bulls extended their lead to 18. Smith fouled out with 1:46 remaining in the game, after shooting four for 17 for 13 points. Novak cut the Bulls’ lead to ten points with 1:20 left, and 13 seconds later Anthony drilled a three-pointer to cut the lead to 7 points.
That was the closest the Knicks got to the Bulls since the first quarter. The Bulls’ Joakim Noah fouled out with 53 seconds left, the Knicks dropped the Bulls’ lead to five, but there wasn’t enough time on the clock to change the outcome. New York has not been able to beat Chicago this season in three tries, including two games at the Garden. Anthony led all scorers with 39 points and Deng led the Bulls with 33 points.
The Knicks came into the game with five wins and seven losses in their last 12 games. This is the first time in Woodson’s tenure that the Knicks have lost two consecutive home games.