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Knicks secure a lead to beat Bulls

Updated: 2013-12-12 17:44
By Zhou Pai, Gao Qihui in New York (

Carmelo Anthony worked with Amar’e Stoudemire to contribute 44 points, finally leading the New York Knicks to an 83-78 victory at home after smashing down the visiting Chicago Bulls’ rebounding from a 24-point deficit.

The Knicks opened the first fire with a 3-point shoot by Pablo Prigioni, but then fell down along with its opponent – the Bulls – in the first quarter. The Knicks’ aggressive defense gained some steals from the Bulls, but converted few of them into points due to the quite low field goal percentage of 26%.

Knicks secure a lead to beat Bulls

New York Knicks plays against Chicago Bulls at home in New York City on Dec 11, 2013. [Photo by Zhou Pai/China Daily]

However, Anthony secured three of his six shots into goals with another two free throws, contributing eight points to help his team end with 17-15 in the quarter against the Bulls, who only got 15 shots in the quarter after failing to control the turnovers.

Opening the second quarter, the Knicks’ Stoudemire took over the leading role from Anthony with an excellent play both in offense and defense. Stoudemire unexpectedly stood out to gain points in paint with strengthened defense as well featuring blocks and steals, denying inside points from the Bulls.

Bulls chose to turn more efforts to defense around the free-throw lane, leaving more room for the Knicks’ outside shooters, but they encountered a comeback of field goal percentage from the Knicks’ guards.

Given the room, Anthony shot his first three-point field goal, coordinating with Stoudemire to achieve a 17 point lead in the second quarter. The hosts, the Knicks, ignited their fans’ passion, ending the first half with a 46-32 lead.

The Knicks continued their strong performance at the beginning of second half, extending their lead to its largest, 24 points. The Bulls tried to fight back but resulted in turnovers again. Carlos Boozer strived to break into the inside but was blocked by the Knicks’ double team defense and ended with turnovers.

Starting from a peak 24-point lead, the Knicks lost their concentration and were returned by consecutive turnovers which were utilized by the Bulls to launch a wave of fast attacks that helped to shrink the deficit to 14 points at 54-68 before the beginning of the last quarter.

Despite an inter-quarter break, the Knicks were still unable to find a way back from the distraction. Lacking the patience to seek reasonable shooting opportunities through moving and passing, the Knicks gave the gun to Anthony who fell into the isolation, but he fell into a hard tussle with the Bulls’ defenders and missed a lot of shots.

In the other hand, the Bulls managed to grasp the chance to activate a shooting wave. Through pick and poll, the Bulls were given a lot of open shots and their shooters managed to score most of them. Meanwhile, Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich found it was not so hard to break through the Knicks’ outside defense line and then saw an open lane to the basket.

His breakthrough cut the Knicks’ defense and created a lot of opportunities. The Bulls eventually filled the lag to 74-74. However, the Bulls were plagued by frequent fouls, giving a break to the Knicks, who finally rallied their defense again, along with Anthony’s recovery of field goal percentage.

After retaining a four-point lead and keeping it to the last minute, the Knicks turned back from the danger of a shocking home loss.

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