Anthony sets tone, Knicks breeze past Bulls

Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:46pm EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - After a sluggish start, the New York Knicks regrouped and cruised to a relatively stress-free 107-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, with Carmelo Anthony scoring 13 of his 27 points during the opening quarter.

Anthony made 12 of 20 shots from the field and gave the Knicks the lead for good on a layup with 2:16 remaining.

He helped the Knicks maintain a lead for the final 38-plus minutes on a night when they shot 50 percent from the floor after the shaky start against an opponent who took four overtimes and nearly three-and-a-half hours to lose to Detroit on Friday.

"Not only did they play last night, to start the game off we weren't communicating," Anthony said.

Guard Arron Afflalo added 18 points, forward Lance Thomas contributed 13 and rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis had 10 for the Knicks, who improved to 14-14 and reached the break-even point for the fourth time.

"That's what you use them for, to try and turn things around," Afflalo said. "They got off to a great 12-2 start and we made the adjustment we needed."

Joakim Noah made his first start at center for Chicago and scored a season-high 21 points. He started while Pau Gasol rested after playing 48 minutes in Friday's four-overtime loss.

Rookie forward Bobby Portis added 20 points and guard Jimmy Butler added 12 for the Bulls. Butler was four of 11 from the field and, combined with Derrick Rose, Chicago's starting backcourt was seven of 21 while the Bulls shot 39 percent and lost their third straight game.

"There is no doubt at that but you have to muster up the energy and fight through that and I don't think we did a good job of that," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said.   Continued...

Dec 19, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) looks to make a move on Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) during second half at Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 107-91.  Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports