Recap | Box Score
Chicago Bulls 106, New York Knicks 95
By Associated Press
November 25, 2006
NEW YORK (AP) -- A 23-point lead wasn't enough for Chicago coach Scott Skiles -- and it almost wasn't for the Bulls, either.
Skiles was ejected in the opening minute of the third quarter Saturday night, but the Bulls held on to beat the New York Knicks 106-95 to stop a six-game losing streak.
"I didn't anticipate getting tossed out of the game or anything," Skiles said. "I'm never afraid to get tossed out because I know Jimmy [Boylan, assistant coach] will do a good job. It got a little hairy there at the end, but we made enough plays to win."
Steve Francis, back in the starting lineup for the Knicks, was also ejected with 41 seconds remaining in a game that included the benchings of Stephon Marbury and Ben Wallace.
Luol Deng led the Bulls with 24 points, including 16 on 7-of-12 shooting in the first half to give the Bulls a 56-34 lead.
Chicago opened the second half with a jumper by reserve Malik Allen, who scored 15 points. Shortly after that, Skiles was ejected after picking up a pair of technical fouls for arguing -- with the Bulls leading 58-35.
"The ejection, I deserved. I deserved the second technical," Skiles said. "I didn't care for the first one that much. He was joking with me, I joked with him and he gave me a technical. Technically, you're not allowed to comment."
Wallace was benched in the beginning of the third quarter for breaking a long-standing team rule on the ban of headbands.
Kirk Hinrich added 21 points and Andres Nocioni had 19 for the Bulls, who snapped an eight-game road skid.
Reserve Jamal Crawford led New York with 26 points and Eddy Curry added 20.
Marbury, who's said throughout the season that he would be much more aggressive, did not attempt a shot and was scoreless after he had only two points in Friday's victory at Boston.
Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said that Marbury did not participate in the morning shootaround because he was not feeling well.
"I knew in my mind he wasn't feeling well this morning," Thomas said. "The pace and the energy of the game, he just wasn't feeling that well."
A confused Marbury spent most of the second half on the bench, often sitting with a towel over his head while teammates around him stood and cheered as the Knicks tried to rally.
"Nope," he said when asked whether he was happy about being on the bench. "I was fine. I didn't have any openings. I was trying to move the ball and get the ball moving the way he wants us to play. He told me he was leaving me out of the game in the third quarter."
Knicks forward Channing Frye left the game in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle. Frye grimaced in pain and was helped off the court by his teammates. X-rays were negative, but Frye did not return to play. After the game, the team announced that Frye will miss three to six weeks.
At the break, the team also announced that Quentin Richardson would not return after straining his hamstring. That was bad news for a Knicks team that trailed by 22 points at halftime.
The Knicks' first-round pick in last year's NBA draft, Frye attempted to block P.J Brown's shot and landed on the back of Brown's shoe with 9:41 left in the first half.
Richardson, who went into the game averaging 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, was listed as day-to-day.
Chicago's lead was cut to five points with under two minutes to play, as New York got boosts from reserves Renaldo Balkman and David Lee. But after a turnover by Francis, Nocioni hit a pair of free throws with 1:23 left for a 100-93 lead. Hinrich pushed the lead to 102-94 on a pair of free throws with 53 seconds left.
Ben Gordon scored only seven points for Chicago. He averaged 30.7 against the Knicks last season.