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(Friday, December 21st)
Final Score: Chicago 110, New York 106
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Luol Deng posted a double-double in a wire-to- wire victory for the Chicago Bulls, who fought off the New York Knicks, 110-106, in a chippy battle at Madison Square Garden.
During a physical game that featured a combined 50 personal fouls, nine technicals and four fourth-quarter ejections, Deng scored a team-high 29 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to help Chicago to its sixth win in its last seven tries against New York.
Joakim Noah totaled 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, but was ejected for picking up his second technical foul after he got tangled up with Tyson Chandler, who received a double-technical and was also thrown out.
"Things happen," said Noah. "But we won the basketball game. I wish that we wouldn't have gotten ejected, it was just two guys trying to go for a rebound, but unfortunately guys got ejected."
Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Knicks head coach Mike Woodson were all tossed from the game within two minutes of each other in the fourth quarter. Anthony and Woodson each picked up a second technical for arguing with the officials before Chandler and Noah got into an altercation.
Anthony scored a game-high 29 points and J.R. Smith followed with 26 points and 10 rebounds for New York, which has lost two of its last three contests.
"They played well," said Chandler. "They took us out of some things, we didn't get to the line much, which didn't help, and then we also missed some shots."
The Bulls set the tone early with a physical and aggressive demeanor, which frustrated the Knicks all night.
Chicago received solid performances from Marco Belinelli and Kirk Hinrich in the win. Belinelli tallied 22 points -- including 11-of-12 from the free throw line -- and Hinrich knocked down 4-of-5 from downtown as part of a 16-point effort.
They led by double digits much of the game and held a 25-point edge late in the third before the contest got out of hand early in the fourth.
Trailing 83-61 to start the final stanza, New York pulled within 15 following a Jason Kidd triple and a Chandler dunk, but a minute later, Smith picked up his sixth foul with 8:09 remaining, ending his night.
Soon after, Noah put a hard screen on Anthony, who was frustrated when an offensive foul was not called on the play. On the next Bulls' possession, Anthony was called for a reach-in and didn't agree with the official, leading to his ejection.
Woodson, who was yelling at the referees all night, was tossed for the first time as Knicks' head coach just over a minute later when his patience reach a boiling point.
Then, following a Kidd 3-pointer to pull New York within 16 at 97-81, Chandler and Noah got into a heated exchange underneath the basket. While Kidd's shot was in the air, Chandler and Noah got tangled up and both players had to be separated, leading to their ejections.
New York fed off the intensity and reeled off an 11-4 run, with Raymond Felton and Chris Copeland combining for all the points, to pull within single-digits at 101-92.
The Knicks came within four points following Felton's sixth basket of the quarter, but it was too little too late for New York, which fell to Chicago for the second time this season.
Earlier, with the help of consecutive triples from Hinrich, the Bulls jumped out to a 14-2 lead just five minutes into the game. Noah poured in 11 first quarter points and Deng hit on a pair of threes, his second to give the Bulls a 29-17 edge.
With New York trailing by 13, Smith scored the final six points for the Knicks, finishing a three-point play before concluding the opening period with a long 3-pointer to cut the Knicks' deficit to seven at 30-23.
After the Bulls built their lead back up to 13 early in the second, the Knicks ripped off a 10-2 run to pull within 42-37 just past the midway point, however Chicago answered with an even stronger push.
They poured in 12 straight points and built a 17-point lead before Anthony scored on layup to end the first half scoring at 54-39.
The Bulls continued to frustrate the Knicks with their scoring and tough defense, as New York began to unravel midway through the third. During a 15 second stretch, both Smith and Woodson received technical fouls for arguing before Belinelli poured fuel on the fire for Chicago.
He scored a pair of baskets and added two free throws following a Hinrich triple to give the Bulls a comfortable 25-point lead with 3:26 remaining in the period.
The Knicks, who entered with the second-best three-point percentage in the league, shot a woeful 30.8 percent (8-of-26) from downtown ... Chicago outrebounded New York 51-40 ... Steve Novak returned for New York after missing Wednesday's contest with the flu. He was held scoreless in just over 31 minutes of play.
12/22 01:46:58 ET
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