Joakim Noah came out dealing. The Chicago Bulls center finished Sunday with a 13-point, 14-assist, 12-rebound triple-double that helped his team to a 109-90 win against the New York Knicks as the teams continued on their opposite trajectories.
With the victory, Chicago won its ninth in the last 10 games, while New York fell to its ninth loss of 10.
Noah was only two rebounds shy of a triple-double at the half after dishing out five dimes in each of the first two quarters, and he got the confidence flowing amongst his Chicago teammates. All five Bulls starters scored in double-figures, as did reserves Taj Gibson and D.J. Augustin, who led Tom Thibodeau's team with 23 points.
The loss for New York wasn't the fault of Tyson Chandler, who grabbed 22 rebounds and added three blocks. Meanwhile, forward Carmelo Anthony scored well-below his season average, finishing with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
The Bulls shot 50 percent in the first quarter and of their 13 misses, seven were grabbed on the offensive glass. In holding the Knicks to 31.6 percent shooting during the first 12 minutes, Chicago held a 37-16 lead heading to the second quarter.
New York responded behind a 12-point outburst from Amare Stoudemire in the second quarter, but the Bulls lead that read 59-48 at halftime never became less than nine points. Mistakes were hardly part of the day for Chicago, which turned the ball over just three times.
The double-digit win also gave Thibodeau the chance to debut recently-signed point guard Jimmer Fredette, who hit his first attempt and finished with two points and two rebounds.