The Chicago Bulls, still pushing for the No. 1 seed overall in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, slammed the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, winning 103-90. Derrick Rose scored 26 points on 10-19 shooting despite a cold, and Carlos Boozer pulled down 22 rebounds. Amar'e Stoudemire didn't play for the Knicks, and Carmelo Anthony registered just 32 minutes as New York had nothing but momentum to play for.
Rose somehow played 38; the Bulls were leading by nine when the presumptive MVP re-entered the game in the fourth. That's how serious the top seed overall is for Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls, and it shows that the club thinks the NBA Finals are a real possibility. Which, of course, they are.
For the Knicks, that first-round matchup with the Celtics awaits. Boston is resting its stars, too; expect Carmelo Anthony to take a night off on Wednesday, joining Stoudemire in a suit. When the weekend hits, though, the Knicks will be gunning to regain the hype that set up that magnificent bubble burst last month. Can't wait.