At this point, the New York Knicks just needed to beat somebody.
Carmelo Anthony had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Rose and Noah had big games against Chicago, and the Knicks beat the short-handed Bulls 104-89 on Thursday night.
"Tonight's game was because it was the next game," Rose said. "We were desperate to win and I'm just happy that we got the win."
Rose scored 17 points in his return to Madison Square Garden after skipping the last game here, and Noah finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds as the Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak. Rookie forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas had a season-high 19 points.
The Knicks bounced back from a loss at the buzzer in Philadelphia on Wednesday to win for the first time this season on the second night of back-to-back games.
Dwyane Wade scored 22 for the Bulls, who were missing star swingman Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic and Denzel Valentine, all because of illness. They dropped their third straight.
Playing without starting forward Kristaps Porzingis, New York won for just the second time in 11 games, a much-needed victory after the mystery surrounding Rose -- and then its second buzzer-beating loss of the month.
"I haven't been in situations like this too many times in my career, but I've definitely been in situations where there's been adversity and I think that today a lot of guys showed what they were made of," Noah said.
Rose went home to Chicago on Monday without telling the team, returned to practice the next day and said his absence was for family reasons. The Knicks fined him but put him back in the starting lineup and he has played well in both games since.
Rose was cheered during pregame introductions and then helped the Knicks race to an 8-0 lead. They pulled away by limiting Chicago to 14 points in the third quarter.
Butler and Mirotic both missed their second straight game. Valentine felt sick at the arena and was sent back to the hotel.
"We've got three guys out. We don't have the luxury of missing key guys," Wade said. "So hopefully Saturday, hopefully we don't have any more down. Hopefully Saturday we get at least one or two back."
The Bulls ended up giving little-used, little-known rookie Paul Zipser his first career start at forward. He had a season-high seven points in just his 11th appearance of the season.
Bulls: Jerian Grant, traded to Chicago in the deal that brought Rose to New York, scored 14 points off the bench. ... Chicago was 3 for 18 (16.7 percent) on 3-pointers.
Knicks: The Knicks are 1-7 on the second night of back-to-backs. ... Porzingis missed three games recently with the Achilles problem, and coach Jeff Hornacek said the injury could have contributed to Porzingis being short on his jumpers Wednesday, including the airball that led to the 76ers' winning shot. Hornacek said Porzingis had soreness and stiffness Thursday but there was no tear or sign of serious injury.
Rose said he didn't think much about how the crowd would greet him, saying he's been booed in Chicago, too.
"I'm used to it and if they did boo me tonight it's no hard feelings," Rose said. "I know this is sports and I know they're very passionate about their sports and like I said, I said sorry to my team, I apologized and that was something that will never happen again."
Zipser had played in just one of the Bulls' five games this month, 10 all season and his high game was three points. But coach Fred Hoiberg said when he told the forward from Germany's Bayern Munich that he would be starting, "He looked me right in the eye and said, I'll be ready, Coach."
Bulls: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. Chicago swept the series in 2015-16 for the seventh time in 10 seasons.
Knicks: Visit Toronto on Sunday, trying to snap a four-game losing streak to the Raptors.