Derrick Rose took over scoring duties late in the game to ensure the surging Chicago Bulls held off the New York Knicks to record a 105-102 victory at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
The Knicks (8-14) rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to tie game at 75-75 late in the third quarter before the reigning MVP took matters into his own hands with 15 points in the fourth quarter.
I really wasnt forcing it, Rose told reporters. Im always put in that position,where Im one of the leaders in the fourth quarter. My team mates have confidence in me to take over the game in the fourth quarter and thats all I do is try.
New York twice trimmed the lead to one point in the fourth quarter but failed to get on level terms. Amare Stoudemire missed a three-point attempt with 11 seconds remaining that would have tied the game and Carmelo Anthonys effort from a similar distance as time expired hit the front of the rim.
I knew we had a lot of time left,Stoudemire said of his attempt. Coach explained if Im open,shoot it. I was open. Joakim (Noah) contested it. We played hard,played well. We had a chance to win.
Rose led the Bulls with 32 points and 13 assists and Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver each added 16 points as the Bulls improved their East-leading record to 19-6.
Anthony sparked New Yorks charge with 12 of his 26 points coming in the third quarter,while his Knicks team mate Stoudemire led all scorers with 34 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bulls forged a 55-44 halftime lead,outscoring New York 22-11 to close the first half and converting 11 turnovers in the second quarter into 15 points.