THE FACTS: Carmelo Anthony received a huge ovation from the Madison Square Garden crowd during introductions, but failed to lead the Knicks to victory in his first game back from a one-game suspension after the Kevin Garnett incident.
Anthony scored 29 of his game-high 39 points in the second half, but the Chicago Bulls led the Knicks from start to finish en route to an 108-101 victory.
Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points on 13-for-18 shooting for the Bulls, now 3-0 against New York this season. Carlos Boozer added 17 points and six rebounds and Richard Hamilton scored 14 points. Chicago (20-14) has won four of its last five.
J.R. Smith went 4-for-17 for 13 points for the Knicks (23-13), who have lost three straight for the first time this season. After starting the season 10-0 at home, they are 2-4 since.
QUOTABLE: "It's another game and I shot well last time [at the Garden]. I've always loved playing here. It's just the way games go."
-- Luol Deng
THE STAT: Anthony entered averaging an NBA-best 9.9 first-quarter points but looked rusty in scoring just four points on 1-for-8 shooting in the first quarter. He had 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting at the break. None of his baskets came outside the paint.
TURNING POINT: Chicago raced out to a 29-18 first-quarter lead and then pushed the advantage to 57-36 at the break. Deng had 21 points at halftime, making 3-for-4 from deep.
QUOTABLE II: "We never had a chance to even be in the game the way we started the game."
-- Knicks coach Mike Woodson
HOT: Deng killed the Knicks for the second straight game. His previous season-high was 29 in the Dec. 21 win at the Garden. He has now scored 62 points in his last two games against New York this season.
NOT: Playing the second night of a back-to-back, 39-year-old Jason Kidd went 0-for-6 with no points and no assists. Amar'e Stoudemire also had a rough night, notching five points, one rebound and five fouls in 19 minutes.
QUOTABLE III: "It's easy to get up for games like this, big stage, playing in the Garden. I wish there were more games here."
-- Bulls' Joakim Noah
NOTABLE: Woodson entered the game trying to limit Stoudemire (knee) to 20 minutes, but said it's difficult. "It's tough because I'm constantly turning to the scorer's table or whoever's keeping my minutes to warn me on where he is throughout he course of the game," he said. "I tried to time it perfect in terms of siting him for a while and trying to save him toward the latter part of the game. We were right on the money, almost." In his previous five games Stoudemire has played 17, 21, 17, 28 and 21 ½ minutes.
NOTABLE II: An MRI revealed that Marcus Camby has a strained left plantar fascia and will be out approximately 2-4 weeks, the Knicks announced before the game. Camby, 38, reinjured the foot during Thursday's loss at Indiana. "I thought [Thursday] night was the best I've seen him play in terms of moving around," coach Mike Woodson said. "So obviously the leg, or foot, was feeling better. Hey, it's another setback but you gotta keep it moving. We'll get him back rehabbed again and then try to get him back out on the floor when we can."
QUOTABLE IV: "I'm the coach, I gotta get us out of this rut."
-- Mike Woodson
INSIDE THE ARENA: Drew Barrymore, Edie Falco, Jon Stewart, Woody Allen, John Turturro and John McEnroe sat courtside.
UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Sunday vs. New Orleans, Thursday vs. Detroit (London), Jan. 21 vs. Brooklyn. For the Bulls, Saturday vs. Phoenix, Monday vs. Atlanta, Wednesday @ Toronto.