While Dwayne Wade did return to the Chicago Bulls for Thursday nights game against the New York Knicks the Bulls where still very short handed. Leading scorer Jimmy Butler and top bench player or 6th man Nikola Mirotic missed there 2nd game in a row due to illness. Neither Butler or Mirotic is traveling with the team. With a couple of there top players out the Bulls suffered another double digit 104-89 to the Knicks. This was the Bulls 3rd loss in a row and dropped there record to 19-21 on the season. With the win the Knicks ended there three game losing streak and improved there record to 18-22 this season.
The Knicks scored the first eight points of the game; taking an 8-0 lead. The Bulls came back to cut the lead to one point at 13-12, but the Knicks scored the next seven points to push the lead back to seven points at 19-12. The Bulls cut the lead to one point again at 22-21 with 1:02 left in the quarter, but the Knicks scored the last two of the last three points in the quarter to take a 24-22 lead after one quarter.
Cristiano Felicio started the 2nd quarter with a dunk for the Bulls to tie the game at 24 all. The Knicks then went on a 10-2 run to take an eight point lead at 34-26. The short handed Bulls responded and when Paul Zipser made two free throws to complete a 10-0 Bulls run; Chicago had there first lead of the game at 36-34. The game was tied two more times in the quarter at 36 all and 42 all. The teams traded the lead seven times in the final 3:40 of the quarter, but going into the halftime it was the Knicks that took a 54-51 lead headed into the locker room.
With this being the second game of a back to back for New York and Chicago being short handed the teams struggled to score in the 3rd quarter. The Bulls managed just 14 points. While New York didn’t do much better just scoring 22 points in the quarter. Of course by outscoring the Bulls in the quarter the Knicks where able to add to there lead and at the end of three quarters New York was ahead by 12 points 76-65.
The closet the Bulls could get in the 4th quarter was 10 points and they did that five different times. The last time the Bulls cut the lead to 10 points was with 1:36 left in the game. The Knicks outscored the Bulls in the 4th quarter as well 28 to 24. The Knicks scored the final five points of the game capped off by a Mindaugas Kuzminskas 3-pointer with :20 seconds left in the game. That final 3-pointer got the game to it’s 104-89 final score.
Carmelo Anthony was the Knicks and the games high scorer with 23 points. Anthony also handed out a team high 6 assists. Mindaugas Kuzminskas came of the New York bench to score 19 points while Derrick Rose had 17 points against his former team. Kyle O’Quinn (off the bench) and another former Bull Joakim Noah each scored 12 points while Noah grabbed a game high 15 rebounds while O’Quinn grabbed 11 rebounds.
Dwayne Wade was the Bulls leading scorer with 22 points. Jerian Grant had 14 points off the Bulls bench while Cristiano Felicio also hit double digits off the Bulls bench with 13 points. Taj Gibson had 12 points and a team high 9 rebounds while Robin Lopez added 10 points. Rajon Rondo was the games leader in assists with 8.
The Bulls return home to try and break there three game losing streak Saturday afternoon against the 16-24 New Orleans Pelicans. Anthony Davis missed Thursday nights Pelicans game with a hip injury. Davis’s status for Saturday’s game is still unknown. After back to back games the Knicks get a couple of days off. They head to Toronto on Sunday afternoon to face the Atlantic leading 25-13 Raptors.