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Bulls Split With Knicks, Drop Finale 107-103

The Bulls could not overcome a poor shooting night as they lost to the Knicks 107-103.

Bulls Knicks
Photo: NBC Sports Chicago

The Summary

The Knicks and former Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau refused to lose to the Bulls again as they led nearly the entire game, winning 107-103 at the United Center on Wednesday night.

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists while Elfrid Payton also added 20 points and eight rebounds to the box score.

Zach LaVine once again led the Bulls in scoring, providing 24 points. But the Bulls leading scorer did have an off-night shooting the basketball, as did the entire Bulls team. The Bulls shot just 16.7% from the three-point (6/36).

The Setup

The Bulls and Knicks met for the second time in three days, finishing off a pair of games at the United Center this week. The Bulls won the first game on Monday night and were looking to record a series sweep of New York.

Knicks Come Out Hot

The Bulls would find it difficult to achieve that sweep of the Knicks as the boys in blue and orange came out of the gates ready to play. The Bulls, on the other hand, did not.

The Knicks took the lead with 10:50 remaining in the first quarter, one they would not relinquish the entire game as they stormed to a 34-17 advantage at the end of the quarter. Julius Randle scored 11 of his game-high 27 points in the opening quarter.

The Bulls did play a bit better in the second quarter as they cut the lead to 11 points at halftime.

Rough Shooting Night

The Bulls came into the game ranked fifth in NBA three-point shooting percentage. However, it turned out to be a significant off-night for the entirety of the Bulls team. They shot just 6/36 (16.7%) from behind the arc, with half of those three-point makes coming from Denzel Valentine.

At one point, the Bulls missed 13 consecutive three-point attempts, including an 0/11 stretch the third quarter alone.

Too Little, Too Late

The Knicks took a 15-point lead into the final quarter but the Bulls would not give up, something that we have seen consistently this season.

The Bulls locked down defensively, holding the Knicks’ shooting to just 30%. The Bulls flew out in the fourth quarter thanks to a 14-3 run, led by seven Denzel Valentine points. The Bulls continued to play well, cutting the Knicks’ lead to just three points with 5:45 remaining.

But the Bulls wouldn’t get any closer. A costly turnover with 20 seconds remaining and the Bulls down five sealed it for New York as the Bulls could not overcome their poor defensive performance in the first half and their abysmal shooting.

What’s On Tap Next

The Bulls head to Orlando to take on the Magic at Amway Arena on Friday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 PM CT. You can catch the game on NBC Sports Chicago.

As always, tune in to Bulls On Tap for all Bulls-related content, news, articles, and podcasts.

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