Richard Hamilton scored 20 points, Luol Deng added 19 and the Chicago Bulls, playing without Derrick Rose again, beat the New York Knicks 98-86 Tuesday night.
Hamilton had 18 points in the third quarter to help Chicago stay ahead after building a 12-point halftime lead. Kyle Korver added 14 points and three blocks, and the Bulls prevailed despite Carmelo Anthony's 29 points for New York.
Rose, meanwhile, was in an all-too familiar spot for the Bulls, nursing yet another injury. This time, it was a sprained right ankle.
U.S. & World
The league's reigning MVP was injured in the first half of Sunday's overtime loss at New York, after he returned from a 12-game absence because of a groin problem.
Rose wound up scoring 29 in that game, but shot only 8 of 26 and missed potential winning shots at the end of regulation and OT, as well as two free throws with the Bulls up by three with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Now, he's missed 23 games because of a variety of ailments, including a turf toe injury and back spasms. Still, the Bulls managed to get back to winning after dropping three of four, beating a team they might meet in the first round of the playoffs.
Anthony came up big again for the Knicks after scoring a season-high 43 and hitting the go-ahead 3 in overtime on Sunday, but New York got pounded on the boards 51-33.
The Bulls outscored the Knicks 25-5 on second-chance points and cut down on the turnovers, finishing with 12 after committing 20 in the previous game. They also moved three games ahead of Miami for the Eastern Conference lead, with the Heat visiting on Thursday.
Deng had 10 rebounds and hit 3 of 6 3-pointers while trying to contain Anthony. Korver was 3 of 5 from long range and had 11 points in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks got within 53-50 early in the third, but Hamilton answered with a 20-footer and two free throws. Deng then made a 3 to make it a 10-point game, and the Bulls stayed in control after that.
Chicago's Ronnie Brewer started a 13-1 run with an alley-oop dunk and John Lucas III added seven points during that stretch as Chicago grabbed a 39-28 lead.
The Bulls ended the half with another surge, scoring the final six points and taking a 47-35 lead to the locker room after Deng nailed a floater in the closing seconds.