The Chicago Bulls defeated the New York Knicks 98-86 in last night’s contest at United Center. On a night when the Bulls had PG Derrick Rose out with a sore ankle, the rest of the team stepped up. Chicago’s SG Richard Hamilton and SF Luol Deng led the team with 20 and 19 points. For the Knicks, SF Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points with two rebounds and five assists.
The Knicks outscored the Bulls in the first quarter, but the score was a close 25-22. In the second, the Knicks faltered a bit only scoring 10, while the Bulls added 25. After halftime, the Knicks game back strong and scored 27 in the third and 24 in the fourth, but the Bulls remained steady all game with 25 in the third and 26 in the fourth.
Chicago ranks first in the Eastern Conference and first in the Central Division, nine games ahead of the second place Indiana Pacers. Against the Knicks this season, the Bulls are 3-1. The Knicks are third in the Atlantic Division behind the first place Boston Celtics by four games and the second place Philadelphia 76ers by one.
The only two teams who have clinched a playoff spot so far are the Bulls and the Miami Heat. With only nine games left, the Knicks are fighting to stay alive in the playoff race. They will have to play without sensation PG Jeremy Lin who injured his knee. The last few games of the season will be interesting for most of the NBA.