Game 70: Chicago Bulls (36-34) lose to New York Knicks (29-43), 115-107
March 23, 2016
United Center – Chicago
The game was relatively tight in the first half, but the Knicks’ 35-point third quarter propelled them to a 92-73 lead. Meanwhile, the Bulls struggled, not just on the defensive end as the Knicks’ point total suggests, but offensively. The Bulls could only scrounge up 18 points to go up against the Knicks’ 35, but they didn’t let that hinder the fourth quarter performance.
Nikola Mirotic scored 20 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter to help lead the Bulls’ attempted comeback. But, toward the end of the quarter, the Bulls got a little sloppy with the ball and settled for 3-pointers when they had more than enough time to drive to the basket for better shots.
Player of the Game
Porzingis led the Knicks with a double-double of 29 points and 10 rebounds and shot 11-for-16 from the field in 31 minutes. He also went 3-of-6 on 3-pointers, making one less three than Carmelo Anthony. His point total bested his teammates Aaron Afflalo, Anthony, Jose Calderon and Robin Lopez, who all played more minutes than Porzingis.
Mirotic posted a new career-high 35 points on 10-of-17 shooting and added six rebounds and a steal in 34 minutes. He also made nine 3-pointers, matching Ben Gordon‘s franchise best.
The Knicks’ advantage in rebounding just goes to show what kind of effort the Bulls put into Wednesday night’s game. Even without Joakim Noah, the Bulls still have an elite frontcourt highlighted by Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Mirotic, so there’s no excuse for them to be outrebounded by such a significant margin.
The Bulls will face the New York Knicks yet again Thursday night, but this time, at Madison Square Garden.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.