The Norman Transcript

January 12, 2013

Bulls go to 3-0 against Knicks

By Brian Mahoney
The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Joakim Noah loved shutting up the chatter almost as much as shutting down the Knicks.

He heard how Carmelo Anthony would come out firing after his suspension, how the Knicks would pay the Bulls back for a tense, testy meeting last month.

Turned out to be the same no contest it was last time.

Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points in Chicago’s third victory over New York this season, a 108-101 win Friday that sent the Knicks to their season-high third straight loss.

“I think it was a big game. A lot of people watching and everybody was saying the Knicks were going to get revenge for what happened last time, nah, nah, nah,” Noah said, unable to contain his postgame smile. “And we came back, held it down again.”

Noah couldn’t contain his excitement while playing in front of family and friends, even breaking out his gun salute that he vowed to shelve after the shootings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, apologetically saying he just got too hyped up.

Topping the 29 points he scored here last month, Deng shot 13 of 18 from the field and also led the defensive effort that contained Anthony in the decisive first half of his return from a one-game suspension.

Carlos Boozer added 17 points for the Bulls, whose offense won’t be at full strength until Derrick Rose is back from knee surgery, yet they still shot 57 percent.

Anthony ended up with 39 points for the Knicks, who were roughed up again a night after losing in Indiana. He shot 14 of 32 but said his struggles had nothing to do with Deng and that he simply missed shots he normally makes.

Without starting point guard Raymond Felton and key big men Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace, they lack the depth or sharpness on either end they had during their fast start to the season.

“We definitely don’t want to lose. We’ve got to bounce back, take it one day at a time, one game at a time,” Anthony said. “Sunday is our next game, New Orleans, and that’s a game that we have to go get. It’s a must-win.”

Rose is practicing and nearing his return after tearing up his knee in the opener of last season’s playoffs. The Bulls have managed to stay among the top teams in the East without him, and three times have outclassed a Knicks team that has been in or near the conference lead all season.

“We’ve showed it this year, when we really focus and lock in, whoever we play we’ve been able to play with them, all the top teams, play them close whether we win or lose,” Deng said. “We know that when we show up, and you know, stick to the game plan, we can really play with anyone in this league.”

Richard Hamilton had 14 points as Chicago won for the fourth time in five games.

J.R. Smith shot 4 of 17 for his 13 points as the Knicks lost for the fifth time in seven games. Tyson Chandler grabbed 18 rebounds.

The Bulls held the Knicks to then-season lows of 85 points and 32 percent shooting in an eight-point victory in the first meeting, a game Anthony missed because of a finger injury.

Hawks 103, Jazz 95: Devin Harris scored a season-high 24 points and Atlanta rallied from 15 points down in the second half.

Randy Foye had 25 points to lead Utah, which had won four of five but was denied its first back-to-back road wins of the season. Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Milsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.

The Hawks, who trailed 75-60 in the third quarter, played from behind before taking their first lead of the second half on consecutive baskets by Al Horford. The second basket by Horford, set up by Josh Smith’s pass, gave Atlanta a 94-92 lead with 2:44 remaining.

Celtics 103, Rockets 91: Paul Pierce scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and four blocks as Boston nearly blew a 17-point lead before pulling away late.

The Celtics extended their season-high winning streak to five games, but only after surviving a 12-0 run that pulled the Rockets within two points midway through the fourth quarter.

Rajon Rondo finished with 12 points and eight assists for the Celtics. Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger scored 14 apiece and Sullinger also had 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double.

James Harden scored 24 and Chandler Parsons added 18 for Houston, which fell to 0-2 during a three-game road trip that concludes Saturday in Philadelphia.

Nets 99, Suns 79: Joe Johnson scored 19 points and MarShon Brooks added 17 points off the bench as Brooklyn won its fifth straight.

The Nets have won three straight games by 20 or more points for the first time in the team’s NBA history.

Deron Williams added 14 points and Andray Blatche chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds as the Nets ended a five game home losing streak against Phoenix.

Jared Dudley led the Suns with 18 points and Shannon Brown had 15 off the bench as Phoenix lost its fifth straight and for the 11th time in 12 games.

Grizzlies 101, Spures 98, OT: Rudy Gay hit a pullup jumper from 14 feet with 27.8 seconds left, and Memphis held off San Antonio in overtime for its fourth straight victory and the first over its Southwest Division rival since the 2011 playoffs.

Gay led Memphis with 23 points, and Mike Conley had 21 points and five assists

Tony Parker, who finished with 30 points for the Spurs, forced overtime, beating the buzzer with a 27-footer tying it at 95. He also opened the extra period with a 3 that turned out to be the Spurs’ only bucket as San Antonio went 1 of 10 from the floor. Manu Ginobili missed a long 3 just before the buzzer.

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