Bulls host Knicks in a Chicago matinee
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls have been fantastic of late and will try to continue that form Sunday afternoon when they welcome the New York Knicks to the United Center for a matinee.
The Bulls have won three straight and eight of their last nine. They've pulled into a tie with the Atlantic-Division leading Toronto Raptors for third in the Eastern Conference. (Toronto hosts the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.)
Chicago's third consecutive victory came Friday night thanks to an impressive road win over the scorching-hot Dallas Mavericks, 100-91.
Taj Gibson netted 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, as the Bulls used a fourth-quarter surge to get the win.
The Bulls, who've won four straight in the Windy City, trailed 85-84 with 5:07 to play, but Mike Dunleavy drained a 3-pointer to spark a 10-0 Chicago run that gave the visitors a nine-point edge with just 90 seconds remaining.
Jimmy Butler registered 19 points and seven boards, while Kirk Hinrich and Dunleavy added 17 and 16 points, respectively, for the Bulls.
"I thought we battled back and showed more discipline as the game went along," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We had a lot of guys step up."
As hot as the Bulls have been, that's how awful the Knicks have been.
New York has lost five straight and eight of their last nine, including three in a row on the road.
Last time out, the Knicks showed little in a 126-103 setback Friday night to the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden.
Carmelo Anthony amassed 23 points and 16 rebounds for the Knicks, but shot an inefficient 7-of-26 from the field. Tim Hardaway, Jr. finished with 22 points and J.R. Smith had 17.
"We're not consistent in a lot of aspects out there," Anthony admitted. "It's showing."
The lethargic Knicks offered little resistance against Golden State's high- powered attack, as the Warriors scored with extreme ease in building a commanding 73-52 halftime lead.
To further illustrate how bad the Knicks were defensively on Friday, Golden State's 72 first-half points and 126 total were both season highs.
Amare Stoudemire sat out the Warriors game to rest his surgically repaired knees with the team playing the second of a back-to-back.
The two teams have split this season's two matchups with the home team holding serve. New York's win on Dec. 11 halted a six-game losing streak to the Bulls, who have won five straight as the host in this series.
03/02 09:20:43 ET