The Chicago Bulls employed three quarters of spectacular defense to knock off the disjointed New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden by a final score of 108-101.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 39 points, but needed 32 shots to get his numbers in this one, as Luol Deng hounded him all night.
Chicago ran the Knicks off of the three-point line over and over, forcing a number of contested long twos. Other than some hot shooting by the Knicks (and a bit of relaxation by the Bulls) in the fourth quarter, Chicago utterly dominated this game.
Deng complemented his stifling defense with an efficient 33 points of his own. He needed just 18 shots to do it, though.
As the Knicks move forward, it's clear that the lights-out shooting and scrambling defense that led to their hot start have both regressed. New York shot just 41 percent from the field and struggled to generate quality looks against a Bulls defense that was perfectly content to allow contested jumpers.
Without Raymond Felton to penetrate, Chicago's defense turned every ball-handler toward the baseline, where Joakim Noah and the rest of the Bulls' bigs were waiting to block shots, tip passes and shut down drives.
The Knicks fell to 23-13 with the loss, and showed some very real weaknesses on offense. Chicago jumped to 20-14, and with Derrick Rose's return drawing nearer, look like a very dangerous team the rest of the way.
Final Score: Bulls 108, Knicks 101