Hinrich, Gordon Rally Bulls Past Knicks
Chicago 108, New York 101
NEW YORK, March 3 (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon had another big game at "The World's Most Famous Arena" to bring the Chicago Bulls all the way back.
Gordon scored five of his 32 points in the final 82 seconds as the Bulls rallied for a 108-101 victory over the New York Knicks, who continue to find different ways to lose.
"Yeah, I definitely do (take delight in playing here)," said Gordon, who hails from nearby Mount Vernon. "It's fun. You're playing at home and playing and you're thinking, 'If I can just hit a big shot and help the team win the game.'"
"We knew we had 'Madison Square Gordon,' so we knew we were in the driver's seat," said Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich, who scored a season-high 33 points.
The Bulls have gotten into a bad habit this season of digging themselves an early hole and trying to climb out of it. On Thursday, Chicago erased a 25-point deficit against Cleveland, only to see Ronald Murray hit a late 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers a 92-91 win.
The Bulls again found themselves down Friday when the Knicks closed the first half with a 22-10 burst featuring 3-pointers from Steve Francis that made it 56-52.
New York used a 17-5 charge to open the third period. Chicago native Quentin Richardson capped it with his third 3-pointer of the run to give New York its largest lead, 73-57.
Chicago trailed by as many as nine points in the final quarter, but Hinrich and Gordon combined for 21 points to help the Bulls chip away at the deficit.
The comeback also a result of Chicago's stifling defense, which held the Knicks to just four points in the final 3:23.
"Everyone on the team realized that if we started making good stops, we would get right back in the game," Hinrich said. "We did that and made some big shots and we were able to pull it out."
"We had pretty significant breakdowns for a good portion of the game," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. "So we were fortunate to be in the game and have a chance. We turned it up late and we got really active around the basket and got in there and defended some balls and just kind of changed the tempo that way."
Luol Deng, who collected 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, drained a 3-pointer to get Chicago within 99-97 with 1:51 remaining. Francis responded with a jumper 18 seconds later.
Gordon hit a jumper and drilled a transition 3-pointer on a feed from Hinrich to give Chicago the lead for good, 102-101, with 25 seconds remaining.
The Knicks tried to respond, but Francis threw the ball away with 26 seconds remaining and was called for a charge seven seconds later to seal New York's sixth straight loss and 22nd in 24 games.
"We just kept playing and at the end we got stops and made big plays," Deng said. "We've been in those kind of situations before. We just kept playing even though we were down with a few minutes to go."
"It was tough, man. I thought I had him," Francis said. "But I beat (him) to the spot. I envisioned myself going to the free throw line. Obviously they (the officials) didn't see it that way."
The loss wasted the efforts of Malik Rose, who collected season highs of 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Francis scored 18 points off the bench and Richardson added 16.
The Knicks (15-43) who blew their largest lead of the season, were a woeful 6-of-25 from the floor in the fourth quarter. They also committed six of their 19 turnovers in the final 12 minutes.
"They made plays," New York coach Larry Brown said. "We didn't make plays. Guys are trying to win the game. But when you make mistakes during the guts of the game and you don't have time to overcome them. We just had a horrendous fourth quarter and they had a great fourth quarter."