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
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.