New York goes for second straight win under Wilkens
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Lenny Wilkens will be on the bench for his
first road game as New York’s head coach, as the Knicks travel to Chicago
tonight to meet the Bulls at the United Center.
This is the second meeting this season between the two squads. On January 2nd,
Chicago defeated the Knicks, 104-99, at Madison Square Garden.
Keith Van Horn poured in a season-high 30 points as the Knicks began the
Wilkens era with a 108-88 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday at
Madison Square Garden.
Wilkens, the all-time NBA coaching leader in both wins and losses, was hired
to replace Don Chaney on Wednesday afternoon. The 66-year-old, who became the
team’s 21st head coach, watched his new team blow out one of his former clubs
on Friday. Wilkens coached the Sonics to an NBA title in 1979.
“When you come in to the Garden, you better bring your best basketball,” a
confident Wilkens warned the rest of the league on facing the Knicks in New
Van Horn hit 10-of-15 shots, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Allan
Houston added 18 points and Stephon Marbury contributed 17 assists to help the
Knicks top the 100-point barrier for the third straight game. New York has won
two of those three contests.
“I thought he had a fabulous game. He did everything I asked him to do,”
Wilkens explained of Marbury, the Knicks’ new star point guard.
The Knicks are 3-3 since acquiring Marbury from the Phoenix Suns on January
New York won for the third time in eight home tilts and improved to 11-11 on
its home floor this season.
The Knicks, who have won three of their last four on the road, are 6-13 as the
visitor this season.
Chicago comes into tonight’s game having lost two straight and four of its
last five. On Thursday, the Bulls were defeated by the Memphis Grizzlies,
108-93,at The Pyramid.
Jamal Crawford and Jerome Williams led the Bulls with 13 points apiece in the
loss. Ronald Dupree and Eddy Curry both netted 12, but it was not enough to
keep the Bulls from dropping their seventh game in 10 tries.
Scottie Pippen had 10 points — eight in the fourth quarter — in 16 minutes
of action on Thursday. He played in just his second game since returning from
a knee injury
Crawford has scored in double digits in four straight games. He is averaging
16.8 points per game in 38 minutes of action per night in that span.
Chicago rookie Kirk Hinrich, who finished with seven points and five assists
in the loss to Memphis, is averaging 12 points and 7.8 assists in the last
The Bulls, who have lost four of their last six as the host, are 7-14 at home
The home team has won nine of the last 11 contests in this series. Chicago has
won five straight as the host over New York.