Bulls 98, Knicks 89
The way this one started, the Chicago Bulls looked as though they were headed toward another blowout loss. Instead, they can breathe a little easier.
Luol Deng scored 24 points, John Salmons added 20 and the Bulls rallied from 17 down to beat the New York Knicks 98-89 Thursday night for their third win in 14 games.
The Bulls took control with a 15-2 run in the fourth quarter. Salmons scored seven points in the final 47.7 seconds, hitting a key 3-pointer - an encouraging sight for a team that was counting on him to help compensate for Ben Gordon's offseason departure.
``It's been tough,'' Salmons said.
Tough for him. Tough for the Bulls. For one night, anyway, they could exhale.
``We needed this,'' a relieved Deng said.
Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah came up big after taking cortisone shots and the Bulls came away with a much-needed win.
The Knicks led by as many as 17 in the first quarter thanks to a torrid start by Al Harrington, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the period. New York attempted an NBA-record 29 3-pointers in the first half, hitting nine.
The Knicks finished 16 of 47 from long range, setting an NBA season high for 3-point tries and falling two shy of the league mark on a night when they took only 39 2-point shots.
``That's our game,'' said former Bull Chris Duhon, who scored 18 points. ``We're not going to go away from it. We're going to keep shooting it. If we're open, we shoot it.''
Even so, their coach wouldn't mind if they passed up a few.
``We just took too many in the first half when we should have been more aggressive and drive in to get some fouls,'' said Mike D'Antoni, whose team attempted 41 3-pointers against Philadelphia on Oct. 31.
The Knicks were leading 79-75 about 4 1/2 minutes into the fourth when Chicago scored 10 straight points and 15 of 17, sending New York to its second consecutive loss after winning four in a row.
Rose scored 18 after aggravating his right rib cage in Tuesday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Noah added 15 points and nine rebounds despite tendinitis in his left rotator cuff. Taj Gibson scored 12 points, including four in the go-ahead run, and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Danilo Gallinari scored 18 for New York, but the Bulls were the ones making shots when it counted.
New York was leading by four after Gallinari's 3 with 8:35 left when Chicago took over.
Rose's layup made it 85-79 Chicago with 4:22 left, and after two free throws by Duhon, the Bulls put this one away. Rose drove for a layup and Salmons nailed a 3 with 47.7 seconds left, making it 90-81.
``I wanted to just try to get into the flow, try to get into a rhythm, where I'm 100 percent confident in everything I'm doing,'' Salmons said.
Gallinari made it a six-point game with another 3, then jawed with injured Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas after missing a jumper following two free throws by Salmons.
``It's a part of the game,'' Gallinari said. ``I like that. ... We are having fun playing basketball.''
NOTES: Dallas holds the league record with 49 3-pointers against New Jersey on March 5, 1996. ... Chicago lacks an inside scorer. Former Bull Eddy Curry has lacked a role with the Knicks, so could there be a reunion at some point? ``Right now, I'm a New York Knick,'' he said. ``I love my situation. I love home, also.'' ... Knicks G Larry Hughes was inactive because of a strained left groin and is expected to miss Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.