The New York Knicks entered the contest on a three-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls were on a three-game winning streak. Tonight’s match-up at the United Center was game one of a home-and-home between both teams.
A Close First Half
Kristaps Porzingis' offense was on point since the start of the contest. Although he scored nine points in the first frame, and New York started the game shooting 47 percent from the floor, Chicago held a seven point lead after the first 12 minutes. The Bulls committed no turnovers and ended the first stanza of the game on a 8-0 run.
New York retaliated by outscoring their opponents in the second frame, 34-25. At halftime, Porzingis had 17 points. Despite the Knicks boosting up their shooting percentage to 52 percent, they only held a two point lead. Chicago remained close due to making 9-of-12 of their free throws while the Knickerboxers went only 2-of-3 from the line.
There were a total of 16 lead changes and seven ties after the first 24 minutes of the game.
Knicks Take Command In Third Frame
The Bulls experienced offensive struggles in the third period while New York shot the lights out. By the 5:03 mark of the third quarter, the Knicks were on a 21-7 run. They tallied five three-pointers and displayed another high scoring quarter with 35 points, while holding the Bulls to just 18 points. New York had their largest lead of the night, 92-73.
Bulls Make Late Comeback Run
With 4:31 left in regulation, Chicago went on a 16-4 run. Derrick Rose followed it up by draining a three-pointer and reduced the New York lead to nine. Nikola Mirotic then hit a three-pointer of his own to cut the lead to just eight. The Knicks fought back by remaining hot from the floor, making their shots and not letting their lead get any lower to take the road win.
Porzingis went 11-of-16 from the field to score 29 points. Below are his game highlights:
Carmelo Anthony, who missed the last game against the Sacramento Kings with a migraine, scored 24 points. Robin Lopez tallied 11 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks. Arron Afflalo led the bench with 12 points. Rose concluded with 21 points. Mirotic went 9-of-13 from beyond the arc. His highlights can be seen below:
When asked about fatigue in the post game interview, Porzingis said, “Some games you feel better. Some games you feel tired, your legs are not their. I’m really focusing on the recovery part.” He then described the team win and said, “We were playing team basketball. We were knocking down shots.”
Other Things To Note
The Knicks made a total of 14 three-pointers and shot 52 percent from the field.
Porzingis achieved his first double-double under Kurt Rambis and his 18th of the season.
New York broke a nine game losing streak at the United Center.
The Knicks are 11-3 when shooting 50 percent or higher this season.
Both teams will be back in action on Thursday night to conclude the season series in the second game on the home-and-home at Madison Square Garden. Game time is at 7:30 PM EST.