Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 1/13

Game 1: Monday, January 13th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 14th
Game 3: Saturday, March 22nd

Knicks 94

(13-22, 4-11 away)

Bulls 101

(14-23, 13-7 home)

    Coverage: WCIU

    7:30 PM ET, January 13, 2003

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 17 26 21 3094
    CHI 18 29 25 29101

    Top Performers

    NY: K. Thomas 19 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Chi: J. Rose 28 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Bulls nearly blow 20-point lead, but not quite

    CHICAGO (AP) -- An easy victory? Not for the Chicago Bulls.

    Their 20-point lead with four minutes to go nearly evaporated before they withstood a late barrage of 3-pointers from the New York Knicks and held on for a 101-94 win Monday night.

    "Anytime you get a 20-point lead, you should be able to cruise until the end,'' said Jalen Rose, who led the Bulls with 28 points. "We didn't close it out the way we are capable.''

    Trailing 94-74, the Knicks made six 3-pointers in the final four minutes -- two each by Charlie Ward and Latrell Sprewell -- to get within five with 31 seconds left before Jamal Crawford sank a pair of free throws.

    "They made a run, but it's just good to win whether it's by 20 or by six or by one,'' said Tyson Chandler, who grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds. Chicago's Marcus Fizer scored 12 of his 14 points in the final period.

    Allan Houston led New York with 25 and Kurt Thomas chipped in 19. Sprewell scored eight of his 17 in the final quarter but shot just 7-of-22 for the game.

    "We're not the type of team who can come in and try to go through the motions and then win at the end,'' Houston said. "That's what we tried to do tonight.''

    Rose's 3-pointer capped a quick 7-0 spurt in the fourth quarter that gave Chicago a 79-66 lead, and the Bulls looked like they'd put it away.

    Fizer's three-point play, a free throw by Rose after a technical on Knicks coach Don Chaney, two more baskets by Fizer and driving basket by Eddie Robinson produced another 10-2 run and a 90-72 lead with just over five minutes left.

    Jay Williams hit two free throws before Sprewell's 3-pointer cut the lead to 99-94. Crawford then made two more free throws with 27 seconds left, and Chicago finally sewed up the victory when Williams made a steal with 16 seconds to play.

    Williams returned to the Bulls' lineup after missing two of the three previous games with a sprained ankle.

    A story in Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times created a furor for the rookie from Duke when his father revealed that Jay Williams was so frustrated earlier this season he wondered if he should ask for a trade. Williams responded by saying he does express his frustrations to his parents sometimes, but he never told them he wanted to be traded.

    Williams said the story and its aftermath didn't affect his performance Monday night. He scored eight points and had seven assists in 29 minutes.

    "I just let stuff like that go, and just go out and play,'' said Williams, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft.

    Eddy Curry scored 10 points in seven minutes, and the Bulls built a 10-point lead in the second quarter before Houston's 3-pointer in the final minute got the Knicks within four at the half. Chicago shot 50 percent in the first half and still led just 47-43.

    Game notes

    The teams will see one another in a hurry, Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. ... Bulls backup Corie Blount was ill and did not attend the game. ... Chandler's previous rebound high was 18. ... The Bulls outscored New York 46-24 in the paint. ... Thomas also had 12 rebounds for the Knicks. ... New York's 15 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter was a United Center record.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 101
    FGM-FGA 37-96 (.385) 36-74 (.486)
    3PM-3PA 9-23 (.391) 2-8 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 11-13 (.846) 27-38 (.711)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-44 12-45
    Assists 27 25
    Turnovers 12 12
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 0 6
    Fast Break Points 3 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 20 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Kurt Thomas Thomas
    Points: 19
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Jalen Rose Rose
    Points: 28
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0