NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony led the way with 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and the New York Knicks bounced back with a 104-89 win over the short-handed Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Gardens on Thursday night.
Rookie forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas had a career-high 19 points and Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, who were facing their former club, also contributed influential numbers in the win for the home side.
Rose, playing at Madison Square Garden for the first time since skipping the last home game for personal reasons, ended with 17 points, while Noah added 12 points and 15 rebounds for New York (18-22), which rebounded from the last second loss in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
“We were desperate to win,” said Rose. “You never know where this can take us.
“We got the monkey off our back, but we have to continue to play hard and give the effort like we have to win.”
Kyle O’Quinn also grabbed a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench for the Knicks, who shot 48-percent and snapped a three-game losing streak.
“There were no mention of past games,” said Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek. “We tried to move forward and not bring up bad memories.
“The guys didn’t hang their heads after last night’s (Wednesday) loss. They came back and played with the same fire for the game.
“They battled the whole time. The fight we put up tonight was good to see.”
Dwyane Wade paced Chicago with 22 points and Jerian Grant added 14 and Cristiano Felicio finished with 13 in the defeat.
Taj Gibson scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Robin Lopez collected 10 points, seven boards and two blocks for the Bulls (19-21), who were without Jimmy Butler, Denzel Valentine and Nikola Mirotic because of illness.
New York used a 10-4 run to take a 34-26 lead with 8:45 left in the second quarter and went into the halftime break leading 54-51.
O’Quinn made a layup to extend the advantage for the Knicks to 13 points with 1:23 left in the third quarter before the home side close out the game in the final period to hand the Bulls their third straight loss.
Star forward Kristaps Porzingis did not play for the fourth game due to a sore left Achilles tendon.