Randle scores 34 points but the Knicks fall short in Chicago
Julius Randle scored a game high 34 points and added 10 rebounds but the Knicks fell short in Chicago, losing their 8th game of the season, 109-103 to the Bulls.
Randle, who cam up big after five straight games in which he shot under 40% from the field, got very little help from the rest of the starters who continue to struggle.
RJ Barrett was 2-12 from the field although, in his defense, we should mention that he grabbed 15 rebounds, a game high. However, Evan Fournier shot 1-7 and Kemba Walker was 3-9. The trio of Barrett, Fournier and Walker combined just 19 points last night.
The help was, once again, provided by the bench. Alec Burks scored 13 points, Immanuel Quickley added 12 buckets and Obi Toppin finished with 10, including a couple of three pointers.
The Bulls built a 12 point lead early in the first quarter following a 9-0 run and the Knicks needed plenty of time to recover. Down by six at halftime, the Knicks were inspired by Nerlens Noel who made the first field goals for the Knicks in the second half and they eventually tied the game at 58, five minutes into the third quarter. Then, they managed to go in front and take a 6 points lead with under three minutes to play before the final act.
But that was all they could do. In the fourth quarter the Bulls outscored the Knicks 37-29 as Coby White went 3-4 from the three point line. For White, these were his first three pointers since he returned from his left shoulder surgery earlier this month. Zach LaVine scored 10 of his 21 points in the last period.
Derrick Rose played the entire fourth quarter but couldn’t do much. He dished out 2 assists and blocked one shot but went 0-5 from the field after shooting 3-6 in the first half, when he scored all of his 9 points.
“I like the way we played for three quarters. I felt we weren’t at our best in the fourth. I felt the effort was there. We have to take a hard look at what happened in the fourth.”
– Tom Thibodeau
The Bulls were led by DeMarr DeRozan who scored 31 points. They played their first game in Chicago after being in the West for their previous five games and improved 12-5 as they continue to be the top team in the East.
Overall, the Knicks had 11 blocks. Noel and Rose had 3 blocks each. The Bulls blocked the Knicks just once the entire game.
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Up-next: The Knicks (9-8) return to the Garden on Wednesday from 7:30pm to take on the Lakers (9-9) with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.