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Friday, January 11, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 108, Knicks 101

By Nick Friedell



NEW YORK -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 108-101 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

How it happened: Luol Deng was solid on both ends of the floor, scoring a season-high 33 points and frustrating Carmelo Anthony most of the night. After shooting just 2-for-11 in Wednesday night's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Rip Hamilton responded by scoring 14 points. Carlos Boozer added 17 points and an impressive left-handed throwdown on Anthony in the third quarter. Anthony led the Knicks with 39 points but it wasn't enough.

What it means: The Bulls have the Knicks' number. Tom Thibodeau's team controlled the pace throughout the night, once again building a huge lead in the first half and not looking back. What Thibodeau has to be most pleased with is his team's defensive intensity. After playing poorly in the second half Wednesday, the Bulls played hard from start to finish in this one. Led by Deng, they forced Anthony and company into tough shots and executed very well on the offensive end. With Derrick Rose getting closer to returning, this is the type of game that will give Bulls fans even more confidence that their team can make some noise in the playoffs with a healthy Rose. The only problem with the Bulls is that as we've seen this season, nobody is quite sure how they will perform on a night-to-night basis.

Hits: Taj Gibson had another solid game off the bench, going 6-for-7 from the field for 12 points and pulling down three rebounds.

Misses: Kirk Hinrich was just 1-for-5 from the field after returning to the lineup from an elbow injury ... but he did have seven assists.

Stat of the night: The Bulls shot 57 percent from the field.

What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Saturday night when they take on the Phoenix Suns.