THERE’S something about seeing red that brings out the best from Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.
Noah played inspired as Rose took charge early to help the New York Knicks come away with a much-needed win over their former team the Chicago Bulls, 104-89, at the Madison Square Garden on Thursday (Friday, Manila time)
Carmelo Anthony led the way with 23 points but it was Rose who got going early, scoring 15 of his 17 markers in the first half. Noah also had a standout game with 12 points and 15 rebounds, nine from the offensive glass.
The Knicks were particularly humming on both sides of the floor after the break, turning a 54-51 lead to a blowout late in the third with a 14-4 blitz led by Anthony and Kyle O’Quinn. New York forced Chicago to just 5-of-21 shooting in the quarter, as the Bulls only got three players to score in the period.
New York kept pushing in the fourth, building a 15-point lead, 86-71, with 8:45 to go. The Bulls got it back down to 10 a couple of times, but the Knicks found an answer with big buckets from Noah and unheralded Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who had a career-high 19 points.
Anthony also countered Jerian Grant’s triple with a three-pointer of his own entering the final two minutes, and Rose got a steal before feeding Courtney Lee on the break for a 101-89 lead with only 46 ticks remaining. Kuzminskas capped his career game with his second triple in the period to seal the win.
New York rested Kristaps Porzingis due to a sore Achilles but still picked up the win and moved to 18-22, bouncing back from a tough loss at the buzzer against Philadelphia on Wednesday.
With their top gun Jimmy Butler out for the game, the Bulls fell to 19-21 after losing their third straight game. Dwyane Wade led Chicago with 22 points, while Grant and Cristiano Felicio added 14 and 13 markers, respectively off the bench.