Wednesday , Apr , 11 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Bulls rout Knicks

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Ben Gordon scored 23 points and dished out
seven assists as the Chicago Bulls trounced the New York Knicks, 98-69, at the
United Center.

Luol Deng poured in 15 points, while Kirk Hinrich finished with 13 for
Chicago, which is 15-5 since February 28 and has won eight of its last ten
games. Holding the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls lead
Cleveland by a half-game for second place in the Central Division and Toronto
by 1 1/2 in the East with three games to play. Chicago owns the tiebreakers
over both teams.

Thabo Sefolosha chipped in with 10 points, while Ben Wallace had 10 rebounds
and five assists for the Bulls.

“I thought we were very active and our defense was sharp,” said Bulls coach
Scott Skiles. “We moved the ball, got it in the seams and when they made a
mistake defensively we were scoring against it. Our game plan was to play
inside-out defensively and we did a nice job with that.”

Nate Robinson poured in 24 points, Channing Frye had 16 points and 11 boards,
and Mardy Collins donated 15 points for New York.

The Knicks have lost 10 of their last 12 games and are clinging to very slim
playoff hopes. In 10th place, New York sits 4 1/2 games behind Orlando for the
eighth and final spot in the East, but will have to leapfrog three teams to
get there.

Several Knick players accused the Bulls of trying to run up the score at the
end though. If the Bulls would have gotten to 100 points, it would have meant
free Big Macs for everyone in attendance.

“We just wanted to do something for the fans,” Bulls guard Chris Duhon said.
“I don’t cook so I wanted one myself. We certainly didn’t mean any disrespect
by it.”

Chicago opened the game on a 12-2 run, as New York struggled at the other end
and missed 10 of its first 11 shots. Duhon’s driving layup gave the Bulls
an 18-6 cushion at 2:06 and the squad held a 21-10 advantage at the end of the
first quarter.

Chicago’s offense continued to dominate. Deng’s shot off the glass put the
Bulls on top, 35-18, with 6:26 remaining in the first half and Chicago rolled
to the break. It was 45-27 at halftime.

The Bulls continued the rout in the third, as Gordon scored six of the last 13
points to close the quarter. Chicago led 78-50 heading to the fourth.

Andres Nocioni’s trey put the Bulls on top, 85-53, with 9:04 remaining, and
the margin later grew to 94-59 on Duhon’s three-pointer with 5:46 to play, as
Chicago coasted to the finish.

“We were a little winded,” said Robinson, mentioning that his team played four
games in five nights. “It’s kind of hard for me and Mardy (Collins) to play
these minutes. We were joking at halftime that we wished to play a lot and
now we got the wish. At the same time it’s horrible. We’re looking toward the
future. We’ll have Jamal (Crawford), Steve (Francis), all the guards. We’ll
learn, come in and give rest to each other.”

Game Notes

New York’s Stephon Marbury missed his third straight game because of a
sprained right big toe…Forward Renaldo Balkman missed his second consecutive
game with a stomach virus…With one more victory, the Bulls would become the
winningest team since Michael Jordan last played for Chicago in the 1997-98