- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- Tyson Chandler topped an impressive season opener with a monster game in Chicago.
Chandler led an strong fourth-quarter defensive effort for the Knicks, and finished with 19 rebounds and 4 blocks to go with 7 points in New York's 82-81 loss to the Bulls.
He made 1 of 2 free throws with 10.8 seconds left when he drew a loose-ball foul on Joakim Noah while vying for an offensive rebound. And Chandler nearly won the game with a last-second tip-in that missed at the buzzer. He also forced Derrick Rose into a incredibly tough baseline floater over his outstretched arms to win the game for the Bulls with 5.7 seconds left.
"Phenomenal," Carmelo Anthony said of Chandler's effort. "The way he’s playing on the defensive end has given everybody the confidence to go out there and feed off that emotion, feed off his energy. As a whole, we seem like we’re on the same page. We’re talking. We’re communicating."
And the Knicks were getting stops until Rose's dagger at the end. They held the Bulls to 2-for-15 shooting in the fourth quarter.
Chandler is off to a great start after recording five blocks in the season-opening win over the Bucks at Madison Square Garden.
"I feel good physically," Chandler said. "I feel a lot stronger, explosiveness to really attack the offensive glass, give my team second-chance opportunities as well as to control the paint defensively."
"I’m getting back to where I was the first year I came here, coming over and protecting the paint, jumping straight up," he added. "I’ve been getting blocks of late. That’s not what I’m going for. I’m going just to alter the shot."
Bargnani improves: Knicks coach Mike Woodson started Andrea Bargnani, aiming to go big against the Bulls. Bargnani struggled early, missing his first two shots and committing three fouls and three turnovers in the first half. But he rebounded by hitting 4 of 5 shots and scoring all nine of his points in the third quarter.
Bargnani, who played just two minutes in the fourth as Woodson stuck with defense, scored six points and shot just 3-for-9 in the opener against Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Amar'e debut: Amar'e Stoudemire made his season debut, playing 10 minutes and hitting 2 of 3 shots to score 5 points. Stoudemire had three turnovers and four fouls, but Woodson liked what he saw after holding Stoudemire out of Wednesday's win.
"He’s rusty a little bit, but the one thing I know he can do for us, he can score the ball on the block," Woodson said. "For the minutes he is in there, we've got to utilize him in that regard. The bottom line is we need him in a uniform helping us."