The New York Knicks beat the Chicago Bulls 83-78 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
The Bulls were once again playing without three starters (Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Luol Deng), while starting point guard Raymond Felton and starting center Tyson Chandler were out for the Knicks.
The Knicks were the dominant team for most of the game. They led by 14 (46-32) after the first half, where they shot pretty well from the field (45%) and gave up less turnovers than the Bulls.
But what made the biggest difference for a big lead in the first half were points off the bench. The Knicks' bench players scored 21 points in the first half, while the Bulls were able to only add one point off the bench.
In the second half, the Bulls already trailed by 23 points and it looked like the Knicks would close the game safely. But the Bulls once again showed big heart and made an amazing comeback and tied the game 74-74 with 3:38 left in the fourth quarter.
However, the Knicks showed a little bid more concentration in the crucial last minutes of the game and managed to win one in front of their home crowd.
Carmelo Anthony was once again the player of the game for the Knicks, as he scored 30 points and also grabbed ten rebounds. Amar'e Stoudemire had his best performance of the season with 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
For the Bulls, Mike Dunleavy scored 20 points, while Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer both had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Knicks are showing that their bench is slowly waking up, as those players scored 36 points, while the Bulls have a lot of problems with their very tiny rotation.
Their bench had only 19 points, with only Taj Gibson and Marquis Teague scoring off the bench.
The Knicks have moved to 6-15 now and the Bulls are 8-12 after this game. It's almost amazing that both teams are still a strong contender for the playoffs with that kind of record. But since the Eastern Conference is historically bad this year, everything is possible.
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