The Chicago Bulls began the game with more energy than the Knicks and it was clear that Chicago wanted to come out with a fast start. The Bulls were a little short-handed in the game and they understood that it was imperative to open the game on a high note. The Bulls were playing well on both ends of the court and were beating the Knicks on nearly every play. Whether it was on defense or offense, the Knicks could not find their way past the Bulls. With 8:27 left in the quarter, the Bulls were up 12-5.
The Knicks then increased their level of play and went on an 9-0 run to claim the lead. New York was playing much better on the defensive end, and like usual, it led to easy shot opportunities when the ball was in its hands. After their slow start, the Knicks worked themselves back and took over the momentum. At the 6:40 mark of the opening quarter, the Knicks turned a 12-5 deficit into a 14-12 advantage.
The first period was one of runs and after the Knicks went on their spurt, the Bulls answered back with one of their own. The Bulls also increased the intensity and regained control of the momentum. Chicago returned to its defensive assault and that forced the Knicks into some tough offensive looks. However, with 3:17 left in the period, the Knicks were facing a mere four point deficit, 23-19.
After 12 minutes of play, the Knicks found themselves leading the Bulls by two, 25-23. The Knicks shot 50 percent from the field and surprisingly held the Bulls to just 35 percent shooting. Tyson Chandler led the way for the Knicks with seven points and Bulls star Derrick Rose also contributed seven points.
The Knicks and Bulls went back and forth in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but the Knicks’ reserves slowly began to put together a nice spurt. The Knicks were the more energetic team and the Bulls were quickly staring the play catch-up. With Baron Davis leading the point, the offense was running extremely well and the Knicks were playing much better on the defensive end. At the 8:47 mark of the second quarter, the Knicks held a 33-29 lead.
The Bulls’ offense was looking lethargic and they could not get anything to go with the ball in their hands. The team was struggling and even their star Derrick Rose could not get anything to go. Still, even though the Bulls were not playing at the level they were accustomed to, they faced just a three point deficit, 35-32 with 6:10 left in the first half.
The Bulls slowly started to get their act together and as Rose found his offensive groove, so did the team. The Knicks were in control for most of the period, but the Bulls made a push and quickly reclaimed the lead. Chicago’s defense stepped up once again and they began to attack the Knicks in the paint. At the 3:52 mark of the second quarter, the Bulls were back on top by two, 42-40.
At the conclusion of the first half, the Knicks had a two point lead, 50-48. Tyson Chandler was the Knicks’ leading scorer with 11 points and Rose was the main man for the Bulls with 13.
The Bulls’ offense looked much better in the opening minutes of the third quarter and Carlos Boozers was much more assertive with the ball in his hands. The other Bulls starters also got into the action and were not allowing Rose to do everything for them. Chicago got its shot back and it helped the team to reclaim the lead. At the 9:06 mark of the period, the Bulls were back ahead by one, 58-57.
The Bulls continued on their great start to the period and scored 16 points in less than five minutes of play. Their defense was clicking and nearly everyone was hitting shots on the field. With 6:58 remaining in the quarter, the Bulls turned a two-point half-time deficit into a 66-59 advantage.
Once again, the Knicks made their push as the quarter progressed and they found a way to cut into the lead. The entire game was one of spurts, and neither team was able to pull away from the other. The Bulls had control of the momentum and with the home crowd behind them it seemed as though the game would change for good. However, the Knicks stayed in striking distance and slowly fought their way back into the match. At the 3:25 mark of the period, the Bulls were ahead by just one, 71-70.
Amar’e Stoudemire found his shot in the final minutes of the quarter and was the catalyst for the Knicks surge as the period came to an end. After 36 minutes of play, the Knicks were facing a one-point deficit, 79-78.
The Bulls had another solid start to a quarter and they were clicking on all cylinders. The Bulls were crashing the boards well and their hustle on the defensive end allowed them to attack the basket with the ball in their hands. If they had happened to miss a shot, their length in the front-court allowed for second-chance points and that helped them open a 85-80 lead with 8:50 left in the game.
The Knicks could not do anything to limit the Bulls’ front-court players and they had trouble preventing them from dominating the paint. Luckily for New York though, it was making shots on the offensive end, and even though they played horribly on defense, their offense made up for it. With 6:46 left to play in the game, the Knicks were facing a five point deficit, 89-84.
Stoudemire went on his onslaught and the Bulls could not stop him on his mid-range shot. However, the Knicks were not feeding him the ball enough and although they could have cut into the Bulls lead if they did, the Knicks decided on another offensive game-plan. The Bulls, on the other hand, played well as a unit and were sharing the ball tremendously well. At the 3:11 mark of the period, the Bulls opened up a 95-88 lead.
The Bulls maintained their lead through the end of the game and walked away with a 104-99 victory. The Knicks lost their sixth consecutive and it seems as though something will have to change in New York. Linsanity is officially over and the team needs something to fix its woes.