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Ben Gordon came off the bench to score 25 points to help the Bulls beat the Knicks on Sunday.
Chicago 100, New York 83
That's two moves, two wins for the Chicago Bulls.
Gordon scored 25 points in his second consecutive strong performance since returning to a reserve role, leading the Bulls to a 100-83 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.
Luol Deng added 17 points for the Bulls, who are 2-0 since Boylan became the interim head coach this week, three days after the firing of Scott Skiles. Boylan's first decision was to ask Gordon to give up his starter's role, and it paid off immediately.
"I wasn't happy, but he wanted to bring some more scoring off of the bench,'' Gordon said. "At the end of the day, I just always want the team to win and for everybody to do well. So I told him if that's what he thinks will work, then I was for it.''
Gordon, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year as a rookie in 2004-05, scored 31 points Friday in a victory over Milwaukee. He made 11 of 15 shots Sunday in another good outing at Madison Square Garden, not far from where he grew up in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
"What can I say? He came out again this afternoon and was just solid out there,'' Boylan said. "His defense was good. He moved the ball. He made the plays he needed to make. He was obviously very efficient shooting 11 for 15. He just seems like he's in a great rhythm.''
New York played without leading scorer Jamal Crawford, who bruised his right hand in practice Friday, while fellow starting guard Stephon Marbury was back with the team but not in uniform. He has missed most of the month following his father's death.
Knicks coach Isiah Thomas also has tinkered with his lineup, but the results haven't shown yet. Randolph was back in the lineup and Eddy Curry started on the bench Sunday, a game after they had the opposite roles in a loss at Orlando on Wednesday.
Asked what he's seen from his changes, Thomas said: "Well, we're not winning. That's the only reason why you do it, is you try to win basketball games.''
Thomas won't say the Randolph-Curry tandem is done for good, but it hasn't clicked thus far. They played a good portion of the second quarter together and got plenty of good shots. They just didn't make many of them, combining to go 5-of-20 in the first half.
"I'm definitely not embracing it but what can I do?'' Curry said of the reserve role. "I have to use the minutes that I have and try to be productive and if I don't play a lot of minutes, I don't play a lot of minutes. There's nothing I can do. I can't sub myself into the game. I'm not going to go to him crying and whining about playing and starting and all that stuff.
"It definitely bugs me,'' Curry added. "I think I'm a starter in this league, but I guess not on this team.''
Curry finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, going 3-of-9 from the floor. New York shot 37 percent.
Despite those woes, the Knicks trailed only 59-55 after Randolph converted a three-point play with 6:42 left in the third quarter. The Bulls answered with 10 straight points, including a pair of baskets by Ben Wallace, to open a 69-55 advantage on Deng's two free throws with 1:48 remaining in the quarter.
Gordon tossed in a runner with 0.7 seconds to go in the period, making it 73-57. The Knicks' final chance had them within 12 with 8:25 remaining, but Gordon nailed a 3-pointer and knocked down another jumper, making it 84-67 with 6:29 to go.
Chicago hit 10 of 15 shots in the first quarter, opening a 30-22 lead after Gordon's layup with 16 seconds remaining. The Bulls opened 7-of-10 from 3-point range, with Gordon hitting behind the arc to make it 36-28 with 9:48 left in the half.
The lead grew to 11 late in the half after consecutive buckets by Gordon, and Chicago led 50-43 at the break. The Knicks took nine more shots in the half but made three fewer, mostly because Randolph (3-of-12) and Curry (2-for-8) struggled from mostly point-blank range.
Notes: X-rays before the game on Crawford's hand were negative. ... The Bulls have won 11 of their last 14 meetings against the Knicks. ... Curry was a reserve for the first time since Dec. 28, 2005, against Orlando. ... Marbury has played in only three of 13 games since his father died on Dec. 2. ... The Knicks have lost 14 times by 10 or more points, most in the NBA.