Noah, Anthony lead Knicks past Bulls

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[January 13, 2017]  NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks week began on Monday with the bizarre un-excused disappearance by Derrick Rose. Then they promptly got blown out that night.

That sequence was followed by a buzzer-beater loss on Wednesday and the news on Thursday afternoon that star forward Kristaps Porzingis would be out with an Achilles injury.

It was understandable that Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek was apprehensive on how his team would come out against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. He got his answer quickly as the Knicks opened with a flurry and held on to record a 104-89 win over the Bulls at Madison Square Garden.

New York dropped a 98-77 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, letting a 17-point second-half lead slip away. Without Rose on Monday, the Knicks dropped a 110-96 decision to New Orleans.

"There were no mention of past games," said Hornacek. "We tried to move forward and not bring up bad memories.

"The guys didn't hang their heads after last night's (Wednesday) loss. They came back and played with the same fire for the game. They battled the whole time. The fight we put up tonight was good to see."

Joakim Noah recorded his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 15 rebounds against his former team. In two games against the Bulls, who he won the Defensive Player of the Year for in the 2013-14 season, Noah is averaging 14 points, 12 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals.

Carmelo Anthony poured in 23 points for the Knicks (18-22), who had lost nine of their last 10 games, with 23 points. Former Bull Derrick Rose contributed 17 points and Kyle O'Quinn came off the bench to score 12 points and pull down 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas recorded a career-high 19 points for the Knicks.

Rose, who was cheered by the home crowd during pregame introductions in his first game back at the Garden since leaving for his quick trip back home to Chicago, and Noah were acquired by the Knicks over the summer in an effort to beef up their scoring and defense.

"We were desperate to win," Rose said. "You never know where this can take us. We got the monkey off our back, but we have to continue to play hard and give the effort like we have to win."

Dwyane Wade led Chicago (19-21) with 22 points.

Chicago got as close as 94-84 with 2:57 to play, but a reverse layup from Kuzminskas and a 3-pointer from Anthony sealed the win.

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Bulls guard Dwyane Wade (3) looses the ball to New York Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas (91) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

 An 8-0 run by the Knicks turned a 60-57 lead into a 68-57 cushion after Anthony deposited a 17-foot jumper with 4:55 left in the third.

The Knicks forged ahead to their biggest lead, 88-73, on a jump shot from O'Quinn with 7:57 to play.

In the first half, New York raced to a 10-4 lead, then held on for a 24-22 edge at the end of the quarter. Rose tossed in eight points in the quarter.

"As a player, you are always going to be amped to play against your former teams," said Wade about Noah and Rose. "That is what players are supposed to do. They are 2-0 against us, so for them it probably feels good."

The Bulls took their first lead, 36-34, thanks to a pair of free throws from Paul Zipser with 5:54 left in the second quarter.

A traditional 3-point play from Rose put the Knicks ahead 54-49 with 4.8 seconds left in the half before a jumper by Rajon Rondo at the horn cut New York's lead to 54-51.

NOTES: The Knicks are 1-7 in the second game of a back-to-back. ... Chicago was 3 for 18 on 3-pointers. ... Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis missed his fourth game due to a sore left Achilles tendon. He tried playing through the injury in the last four games, but shot just .417 from the floor and averaged only 4.3 rebounds, well below his season average. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said the training staff will continue to evaluate Porzingis. ... Bulls G Jimmy Butler, F Nikola Mirotic and F Denzel Valentine were all out due to illness. ... Bulls C Robin Lopez and G Jerian Grant made their first trip to Madison Square Garden since getting traded by the Knicks over the summer for Derrick Rose and Justin Holiday. Lopez scored 10 points and had seven rebounds and Grant contributed 14 points off the bench.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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