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Knicks Get Much Needed Win Over Chicago

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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The New York Knicks entered Thursday night in desperate need of a win. The Knicks dropped nine of their last 10 games, and lost the hope of many fans. During the losing skid New York failed to put together a complete performance, which led to countless blown leads. Opponents were flat out coming and out-hustling the Knicks. This put New York’s effort level in question by many, and the overall outlook was bleak.

Based on history, the odds weren’t in favor for the Knicks to beat the Chicago Bulls. Just the previous night, New York lost a heart-breaker at the buzzer to the Philadelphia 76ers. On the season, the Knicks were 0-7 in the second game of back-to-backs. To make matters worse, New York would be without Kristaps Porzingis due to a sore Achilles.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Wade working on his signature step back in warm-ups

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Wade working on his signature step back in warm-ups

Thursday night however, in front of a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden the Knicks took care of business. New York put together a compete game despite the efforts of Dwayne Wade (22 PTS, 3 REBS) and Taj Gibson (12 PTS, 9 REBS), to pick up a 104-89 win over the Bulls. The Knicks out-scored Chicago in each quarter, and improved to 16-4 when leading or tied after the third quarter.

Defensively, the Knicks looked like a different team against Chicago. New York held the Bulls to under 90 points, and under 40% (35-88 FG) shooting from the field. The Knicks defended the three point line (18%, 3-18 3PT) very well, and need to continue doing so moving forward. New York did send Chicago to the charity stripe 21 times, but took a step in the right direction defensively. Granted Chicago played without Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic, but the effort level was there and defense is all about effort.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Butler had an illness and was unable to play Thursday night.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Butler had an illness and was unable to play Thursday night.

Carmelo Anthony (23 PTS, 9 REBS, 6 AST) and Derrick Rose (17 PTS, 4 REBS, 3 AST) paced the Knick offense yet again. But this win was all about the supporting cast. The offensive production from the role players has been inconsistent, but against the Bulls it was there. Joakim Noah (12 PTS, 15 REBS) had another solid outing, and looks more like who New York thought they were getting.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas had arguably his best game as a Knick, scoring 19 points in 30 minutes off the bench. Kuzminskas plays hard when he is on the floor, and has become a fan favorite. Kyle O’Quinn (12 PTS, 11 REBS) had his second straight double-double, and has been the second unit’s defensive anchor. O’Quinn had four blocks against the Bulls, and has recorded two or more blocks in four out of the last five games.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) The Garden has really taken a liking to "Kooz"

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) The Garden has really taken a liking to “Kooz”

New York improved to an 18-22 record, and looks to continue playing winning basketball Sunday against the Toronto Raptors. The Knicks are 6-14 in games on the road this season, and will have a tough one ahead with Toronto. The Raptors are 2nd in the Eastern Conference, and are 18-3 at home this season.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Barry Holmes)

 

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