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Saturday, December 8, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 93, Knicks 85

By Nick Friedell



CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 93-85 win over the New York Knicks on Saturday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Luol Deng led the Bulls once again, scoring 22 points and grabbing five rebounds. Marco Belinelli had another solid outing scoring 22 points, including a crucial jumper with just more than 90 seconds left. Joakim Noah added 10 points and 11 rebounds on a night in which the Bulls had to grind the game out in every way while playing their fourth contest in five nights. The Bulls' starters were absolutely gassed, especially since Taj Gibson got ejected in the first half and Kirk Hinrich didn't play in the second half because of an elbow injury, but they still found a way to win.

What it means: Given the circumstances, this was the Bulls' best win of the season. It's a credit to Tom Thibodeau and his players that they found the energy to pull this one out after such a grueling part of the schedule. The Knicks played without Carmelo Anthony, but given how easily they handled the Miami Heat on Thursday night without him, Thibodeau has to feel good about his team's effort. They dug down deep and made plays at the end that gave them a win over an elite-level opponent. The ups and downs the Bulls have already experienced this season should make this one a little sweeter for Noah and company.

Hits: Carlos Boozer played just 22 minutes because of matchups, but he had a solid game -- scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Misses: Knicks guard Raymond Felton was 9-for-30 from the field.

Stats of the night: The Knicks shot just 32 percent from the field and scored a season-low 85 points. Noah had a career-high nine turnovers.

What's next: The Bulls face off against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.