Knicks, Bulls battle in Chicago
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls will look to get into the win column Thursday night when they host the New York Knicks in their home opener.
The Bulls had a tough go of it Tuesday night when they opened their campaign with a 107-95 setback to the defending champion Miami Heat in South Beach. On that night, the Heat hung another championship banner and received their rings, while Chicago welcomed back its superstar.
Derrick Rose, who missed all of last season recovering from a torn ACL, returned to the Bulls lineup. The 2011 MVP showed a lot of the burst that earned him the MVP trophy, but only finished with 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting, and committed five turnovers in about 34 minutes of action.
"If anything I'm disappointed in the loss," Rose said. "My performance, I can easily change that by making shots and turning down the turnovers. It's something we can learn from. It's not the end of the world; it's not the playoffs where we're going to be eliminated. We can fix things."
Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler were plagued by early foul trouble and the vaunted Bulls defense was torched for 37 second-quarter points. Deng only managed four points, but Butler had a great second half and registered 20 points.
It was a great night for Carlos Boozer, who scored a game-high 31 points, but All-Star center Joakim Noah had a rough go of things with two points and 11 rebounds. Noah was eased back into action after missing a significant portion of the preseason with a groin strain.
The Knicks kicked off their Atlantic Division title defense Wednesday night with a hard-fought 90-83 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.
After jumping out to a 25-point halftime lead, the Knicks got smoked in the third quarter and had to play 48 demanding minutes to get the victory. The Knicks committed 22 turnovers in the win.
"That's not us," said New York head coach Mike Woodson. "Last year, we led the league in not turning it over."
Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Raymond Felton chipped in with 18, followed by 16 from Iman Shumpert and 10 from Tyson Chandler.
Woodson elected to return to the starting lineup the Knicks used late last season, when New York played great defense and won 13 in a row and 16 of its last 18.
Metta World Peace played the most minutes off the bench for the Knicks with a shade under 18. Andrea Bargnani, the former No. 1 overall pick who came over in an offseason trade with the Toronto Raptors, only had six points in his New York debut.
"I have to build and get our second unit in gear," admitted Woodson. "We have to get them comfortable with what we're doing."
Amare Stoudemire, who underwent another knee procedure this summer, did not play despite claims that he was healthy enough to go. J.R. Smith, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, was suspended the first five games of the season in accordance with the league's drug policy.
The Bulls swept the season series with the Knicks last year and have won eight of their last nine at home against New York.
10/31 10:43:55 ET