Hinrich leads Bulls past Knicks

April 7, 2009 8:24:14 PM PDT
Kirk Hinrich scored 25 points to lead five players in double figures as the Chicago Bulls beat the upset-minded New York Knicks 110-103 Tuesday night. The Bulls used a 15-0 run in the fourth to erase the Knicks' small, but steady lead, and then outlasted a late New York comeback by hitting their free throws.

Derrick Rose had 18 points and six assists, John Salmons scored 19, Tyrus Thomas 18 and Ben Gordon 17 for the Bulls' balanced scoring attack.

Wilson Chandler scored 26 points to lead the Knicks, who were trying to win consecutive games for the first time since taking three in a row March 10-13. Al Harrington had 23 points, and David Lee added 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Just when it looked like Chicago would coast to a win, Chandler hit a 3 with just under 2 minutes left to pull the Knicks to 102-98 and Chris Duhon banked home a runner to make it a two-point game with 1:27 left.

Lee then fouled Brad Miller on a rebound and Miller sank two free throws with 1:07 to go. Chandler hit another 3 with 22 seconds left to cut the lead to 104-103, but that was as close as the Knicks got.

Gordon hit a pair of free throws to make it 106-103 and Thomas blocked a Quentin Richardson 3 with 15 seconds left, got fouled and hit two more free throws. Salmons added the last two free throws.

New York never trailed in the third quarter after using a 13-5 run to take a 56-53 halftime lead. The Bulls tied it twice in the third quarter, but couldn't contain Harrington, who scored 18 of the Knicks' 28 in the third, hitting eight of nine shots.

The Knicks led 90-85 with about 9½ minutes to go when the Bulls made their charge, and the Knicks collapsed thanks to quick possessions and turnovers. New York had 11 turnovers through the first three quarters and eight in the fourth.

After the Knicks went up by five, Miller scored on a pass from Rose, Hinrich hit a jumper, and Salmons had a 3 to give the Bulls a 92-90 lead.

Rose went on to score six of the team's next 10 points, adding an assist on Thomas' alley-oop dunk. Rose's layup made it 100-90 with about 5 minutes to go.

The Bulls came into the game tied with Detroit for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, three games ahead of ninth place Charlotte. The Bobcats beat Philadelphia 101-98, keeping the heat on a short-handed Bulls team.

Notes: Chicago forward Luol Deng is likely out for the last four games of the regular season after suffering another injury rehab setback. Deng has been out since Feb. 28 with a stress fracture in his right tibia. He could return for the playoffs, but even that is questionable. ... Bulls forward Tim Thomas also missed the game with a family situation. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro wasn't sure if Thomas would be back for Thursday's home game. ... The Bulls signed F Linton Johnson III for the remainder of the season. Johnson was released March 31 after his second 10-day contract expired. ... Jeffries got six stitches in the side of his head after getting injured early in the third. He returned in the fourth. ... The Knicks hit 10 of 15 3-pointers through three quarters, shooting 53.1 percent from the field. ... Chicago showed video tributes to Michael Jordan and Jerry Sloan as both ex-Bulls were recently selected for induction in the Basketball Hall of Fame. ... Several Knicks have Chicago connections. Chris Duhon played for the Bulls from 2004-08, Hughes was dealt by the team at the trade deadline, Chandler played for DePaul, as did Chicago native Richardson.