Bulls halt Knicks charge


Posted at Dec 09 2012 06:10 PM | Updated as of Dec 10 2012 02:10 AM

The Chicago Bulls halted the New York Knicks' five-game winning streak with a 93-85 home victory on Saturday, continuing their home dominance over the Knicks at the United Center.

The Bulls have won 19 of their last 22 home encounters against the Knicks, who were still without Carmelo Anthony.

Chicago were led by Luol Deng and Marco Belinelli, who scored 22 points apiece, improving to 11-8 and strengthening their lead in the Eastern Conference's Central standings.

"He (Belinelli) has been consistent with his approach," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He has gotten more comfortable and he has gotten extended minutes and he has played very well."

The home side kicked away inside the final two minutes of the game with a 6-0 run to cement the victory.

Raymond Felton had a game-high 27 points for the Knicks but could not drive his side to victory like he did against the Miami Heat on Thursday.

The Knicks were left to rue poor accuracy, making just 32 percent of their shots (27 of 84) compared to the Bulls 44 percent (34 for 78).

The Bulls also overcame the loss of bench power forward Taj Gibson, who was ejected in the first half for comments he made to referee Derrick Stafford after a rebounding foul was called against him.

"In the NBA, there's something every night you're dealing with," Thibodeau added. "You have to have the mental toughness to get through whatever it is that's in front of you."

New York dropped to 14-5 but remain top of the Eastern Conference. (Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom/Peter Rutherford; )