”You’re a little fatigued but I feel everybody felt it tonight. I think everybody gave it their all, at least what they had, and just didn’t have it tonight,” Bulls star Derrick Rose said.
Arron Afflalo added 18 points for New York, which got back to .500 at 14-14 after winning only 17 games last season. Lance Thomas scored 13 off the bench.
Anthony said the Knicks, who also played Friday, knew not to take the Bulls lightly.
”They’re a very experienced group, so we couldn’t take no chances with that,” Anthony said. ”I thought after those first couple minutes we played great basketball.”
Joakim Noah had a season-high 21 points for the Bulls in his first start of the season. Rookie forward Bobby Portis had the best night of his brief career with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bulls’ 147-144 home loss to Detroit finished about 20 hours before Saturday’s tip-off at Madison Square Garden, and they didn’t get to their New York hotel until after 4 a.m. Pau Gasol didn’t even make the trip after playing 48 minutes Friday, remaining behind in Chicago for rest and treatment for some recent soreness.
Jimmy Butler and Rose both started after playing 56 and 54 minutes, respectively, but were without their usual sharpness. Butler was 4 of 11 for 12 points a night after scoring 43, while Rose played 20 minutes and had six points on 3-of-10 shooting.
Coach Fred Hoiberg said the Bulls didn’t move the ball well, but part of that might have been because their legs weren’t moving well, either.
”There’s no doubt about that, but you’ve got to find a way to muster up energy and fight through the tough times,” Hoiberg said. ”I didn’t feel we did a very good job of that tonight.”
Still, the Bulls looked fine early in racing to a 12-2 lead. But the Knicks dominated the remainder of the first quarter, particularly when the teams went to their reserves, and led 25-18 entering the second.
Anthony scored 19 in the first half, but Chicago was down only nine after three. The Knicks’ reserves then opened the fourth with eight quick points to extend it to 85-68 and they remained comfortably ahead from there.
New York shot 50 percent against a Chicago team that came in limiting teams to an NBA-low 41.3 percent but was understandably a step slow in this one.
Bulls: Noah grabbed 10 rebounds and became the Bulls’ career leader in offensive boards, passing Horace Grant (1,888). … Chicago had been 2-0 on the second night of back-to-back games.
Knicks: New York had lost three straight and 10 of the last 12 meetings. … The Knicks outscored the Bulls by 12 points in the 4:18 that reserves Kyle O’Quinn and Thomas played in the first quarter.
Portis, a first-round pick from Arkansas, had appeared in just four games and totaled 21 points over 27 minutes. Hoiberg said the 6-foot-11 forward would get a chance Saturday and he took advantage of it, easily surpassing his previous bests of 10 points and two rebounds.
The Knicks’ current streak follows a four-game losing streak, which came after consecutive wins. Before that, they had dropped four in a row, which came right after they won four straight. ”I just think we have to find a way to become more consistent,” Fisher said before the game. ”I don’t want us to be a team that loses four in a row, then wins two in a row, then loses three, then wins four. We don’t want that pattern and I think that starts with winning games here at Madison Square Garden on a regular basis.”