Rapid Reaction: Bulls 110, Knicks 106
December, 21, 2012
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks' loss to the Bulls on Friday night turned ugly late in the fourth quarter when Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah nearly came to blows.
Chandler and Noah were tangled up near the rim with just under five minutes to play in the fourth when Chandler appeared to swing his elbow at Noah twice before turning around. Chandler and Noah then exchanged words and had to be separated by teammates and officials.
No punches were thrown. Both players were ejected from the game for fighting.
Chandler wasn't the only Knick to lose his cool against Chicago. Mike Woodson and Carmelo Anthony were also ejected for arguing with referees. In all, there were 10 technical fouls in the game.
With the 110-106 loss, the Knicks (19-7) fell to 11-2 at home this season.
IN TROU-BULL: Let's forget about the technicals for a second. If the Knicks have this much trouble with the Bulls now, imagine what happens when Derrick Rose comes back.
Without Rose, the Bulls have had their way with the Knicks in both meetings this season, including Friday's four-point win.
Once again, Chicago's defense gave New York trouble.
Tom Thibodeau's club held the Knicks to 41 percent shooting. New York scored just 16 points in the second quarter. The club missed 16 of its 23 attempts in the second and trailed by 15 at the half.
Chicago negated Steve Novak, limiting him to just one shot attempt. The Bulls' perimeter defense was spot on against New York, which finished 8-for-26 from beyond the arc.
ANTHONY FRUSTRATED: Heading into the game, the Knicks believed they'd get a boost from Anthony against Chicago. In the Dec. 8 loss, Anthony was out and New York's offense suffered.
But Anthony couldn't give the Knicks much of a lift on Friday.
He was ejected from the game with 6:45 to play after picking up his second technical for arguing with officials.
Anthony appeared frustrated with the refs for most of the night. The final straw came in the fourth, when the refs didn't call a foul on Noah after he set a hard screen on Anthony.
Shortly thereafter, Anthony slapped at Noah's arm when the Bulls big man grabbed an offensive rebound. He was whistled for a foul and argued with referee Olandis Poole, who quickly ejected him.
Prior to getting ejected, Anthony struggled with his shot. He had 29 points on 10-for-25 shooting, including 1-for-5 from beyond the arc. With a chance to cut Chicago's lead to 12 with eight minutes to play, Melo missed badly on a 3-point attempt.
NOT REALLY RAY'S DAY: Early on, it looked like Raymond Felton was going to have another rough night from the field. The Knicks point guard started the night 3-for-12. He finished 9-for-21 with 21 points, but much of his damage was done late in the fourth as the Knicks' comeback attempt fell short.
Felton was 11-for-33 in the two games prior to tonight.
J.R. Smith had a strong floor game. The Knicks' sixth man had a season-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. He hit four of his six 3-point attempts.
But Smith's offense couldn't help the Knicks overcome a 25-point second-half deficit. New York trailed 14-2 out of the gate. The Knicks cut the lead to four with five seconds to play, but it was too little, too late.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks conclude their season-long six-game homestand against Minnesota on Sunday. They haven't lost consecutive home games since Mike Woodson took over as coach last March. That streak will be in jeopardy Sunday evening.
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.