Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah came back to Chicago Friday and spoiled the Bulls’ night and a brilliant Dwyane Wade performance in a 117-104 Knicks victory.
The Bulls rebounded from an early 16-point deficit, grabbed a halftime lead and trailed by three entering the fourth before a 14-2 Knicks run to start the fourth left the Bulls in too deep a hole. All five Knicks starters scored in double figures.
The Bulls are 3-2 and play in Indiana Saturday. The Knicks are 2-3. Jimmy Butler added 26 for the Bulls.
Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 27 and Carmelo Anthony had 25. Rose had 15 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds while Noah had 16 points and nine rebounds. The two former Bulls happily embraced and skipped off the court as they came out late in the game with the outcome decided.
Wade had 35 points with five three pointers and 10 rebounds in constantly trying to rally the Bulls.
It was reunion night in the United Center with the return of Rose and Noah as members of the Knicks. They received mostly cheers in introductions with a few boos for Rose, and the Bulls did a video tribute for both at the first timeout in the first quarter. It was more a stunned home crowd at that point with the Knicks behind a pair of Porzingis threes shooting out to a 13-3 lead that became 22-6 before the Bulls regained some equilibrium and closed the first quarter trailing 32-23. Wade rallied the Bulls back with nine first quarter points while Courtney Lee had 10, making all five of his first quarter shots as the Knicks scorched the Bulls with 52 percent shooting.
Wade opened up the second quarter with another three, his three of four in the first half already giving up more made threes than he had all last season. Wade’s aggression and shooting awakened the Bulls, who got a pair of threes and a drive in a two-minute stretch from Mirotic to blow ahead 55-49 with 2:25 left in the first half. The Knicks came back within 57-56 at halftime with a spectacular Rose full court driving score and reverse basket with a second left in the half. Wade had 19 in the half and Mirotic 12. Porzingis had 16 for the Knicks, who had 18 first half assists to nine for the Bulls. Rose led both teams with five.
Taj Gibson got the Bulls going after halftime with tough work on the boards and moves inside, but the Knicks eased out ahead on the shooting of Carmelo Anthony, who had nine points in the third quarter. The Knicks got a 75-68 lead before Butler again working inside got fouled for a three-point play that tied the game. The Knicks then carried an 84-81 lead into the fourth quarter while Wade made his fourth three pointer. The Knicks then opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run with Noah hustling after second shots and Porzingis with a three and fast break layup. The Knicks made it 14-2 for a 98-83 lead before Wade with a pair of three throws and a three-point play drove the Bulls back within 98-91 with 6:50 left.