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Monday, March 12, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 104, Knicks 99

By Ryan Corazza



Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks' sixth straight loss drops them into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the Bucks (18-24), who defeated the Nets in New Jersey on Monday night.

THE GOOD: Amare Stoudemire's hot hand. After attempting just two shots (five points) all first half, Stoudemire heated up in the third quarter, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He finished the night with 20 points, but just three rebounds in 32 minutes of action.

The Knicks also contained Chicago's offense well enough to win this one. The Bulls shot just 43 percent from the field and while Derrick Rose did score 32 points, it was an inefficient night -- he was only 12-of-29 from the field.

THE BAD: Hustling and boxing out. The Knicks trailed by just one after the third quarter, but the Bulls were able to rip down nine offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, which led to six second-chance points; they won by five. For the game, the Bulls snagged 22 offensive rebounds -- eight by Taj Gibson -- which they turned into 24 second-chance points. The Knicks had just six second-chance points off nine offensive rebounds in this one.

Chicago's consistent and solid effort allowed the Bulls to outlast the Knicks on a night where they were missing two starters (Rip Hamilton and Luol Deng) and Rose's primary backup (C.J. Watson).

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks take on the Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. Portland is a reeling team that's lost five of its last seven. It presents itself another chance for the Knicks to finally break this losing streak and stay in the playoff hunt.