Butler scores 35, Bulls beat Knicks 103-97
CHICAGO (AP) -- Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 35 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks 103-97 Thursday night in a game missing All-Stars Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony.
Playing without Rose, who sat out with an illness, the Bulls got another strong game from Butler. He was 11 of 21 from the floor with four 3-pointers, five rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
Still, the Bulls had trouble shaking a short-handed New York team that's lost three straight and 13 of 14. The Knicks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr., who had 23 points and five 3-pointers.
Samuel Dalembert made a basket with 2 seconds left in the third quarter to give the Knicks a 74-73 lead heading into the fourth. New York outscored the Bulls 29-21 in the third, holding Chicago to six field goals.
The Bulls responded in the fourth, going on a 12-0 run to take an 87-77 lead, a spurt that included a dunk by Butler with 8:43 to go and was capped by Nikola Mirotic's 3-pointer.
New York hung around, pulling within one on Amare Stoudemire's basket with 4:13 remaining and again with 1:06 left on Stoudemire jumper's. But Pau Gasol (20 points) made a layup under the basket, and after Hardaway missed a wild 3 with 37.9 seconds left, Aaron Brooks hit a free throw and Gasol rebounded the missed second attempt to effectively clinch the win.
Anthony was out with a sore left knee. He has averaged 23.4 points in 24 games for the Knicks but has been battling the knee problem, an issue that kept him out of New York's first game in Chicago since Anthony spurned the Bulls last summer during free agency.
New York also was without Andrea Bargnani (right hamstring), Cleanthony Early (right knee), Iman Shumpert (left shoulder) and J.R. Smith (left foot). Stoudemire was expected to miss the game for a recovery day, but played nearly 31 minutes and scored 16 points.
Rose had played in 11 consecutive games as he works his way back from the torn meniscus that ended his 2013-14 season. He is averaging 16.8 points and 5.1 assists for Chicago, which lost Monday in Atlanta to end a three-game winning streak.
Bulls forward Taj Gibson (right ankle) also was sidelined.
Joakim Noah had four points and 13 rebounds in his first game back after missing four straight with a right ankle problem.
The Bulls led 52-45 at halftime.
Knicks: New York coach Derek Fisher said it would be up to Anthony whether he will be shut down to let the knee heal. "Ultimately that has to be the player's decision, in terms of what he feels like is best for him and his career," Fisher said. "Also, what's best for the team." ... Stoudemire has played in 27 of New York's 28 games this season. The only game he missed was Nov. 14 against Utah.
Bulls: With three assists, Kirk Hinrich passed Norm Van Lier for third in team history. ... The Bulls improved to 23-4 at home against the Knicks since the 2000-01 season.
Knicks: Saturday at home against Memphis.
Bulls: Friday at Memphis.