The Knicks lost a game and their cool Friday night.
The Bulls came to the Garden and pushed them around, frustrating Carmelo Anthony and his teammates to the point of extreme annoyance. Anthony, coach Mike Woodson and Tyson Chandler were ejected in a 110-106 loss to Chicago that was never in doubt despite the close final score.
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"One of those nights," Anthony said. He led the Knicks with 29 points but got bounced around plenty by Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and the Bulls, so much so that he picked up his second technical with 6:45 to go and headed for the locker room with his team down by 15.
Anthony was the first to hit the showers, but not the last.
"I heard the crowd screaming and yelling, so I went out to the hallway and Woody was walking back," Anthony said of Woodson's ejection for his second technical with 5:22 to go.
Still not done yet.
"I was in the shower, I came out and Tyson was sitting here," Anthony said of Chandler, who was ejected along with Noah after the two pushed a bit and went nose-to-nose, but nothing else. The officials tossed both centers, apparently to try to move things toward a speedy conclusion.
The Bulls led 14-2 after five minutes, went ahead by 25 with 3:05 left in the third quarter and still led by 22 early in the fourth before a face-saving closing run by the Knicks.
"From the jump, they were the more physical team, and it carried throughout the whole game," Anthony said. "We reacted to them being more aggressive and found ourselves in a hole."
Deng led the Bulls with 29 points and 13 rebounds, Marco Belinelli scored 22 points and Noah had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulls wrestled away a 93-85 win over the Knicks in Chicago on Dec. 8. Anthony, who had a lacerated finger, didn't play in that game.
Woodson said before Friday night's game that the meeting two weeks ago would have been different if Anthony had been available. He had his star Friday night, but the Bulls simply added Anthony to the list of Knicks they bumped and shoved around.
"It was almost a carbon copy of how we played in Chicago," Woodson said. "We couldn't get shots and we couldn't get stops early. That's a bad combination."
J.R. Smith provided a spark with 26 points and 10 rebounds but fouled out with 7:09 to go to begin the parade to the bench/locker room.
The Knicks are 0-4 against Tom Thibodeau's Bulls and Jeremy Lin's Rockets this season and 19-3 against everyone else. The Rockets overwhelmed the Knicks with offense; the Bulls bullied the Knicks with defense, as Deng, Noah and Jimmy Butler took turns harassing Anthony and making him work for every point.
"They [the officials] let [Noah] be very aggressive," Anthony said. "When that happens, he's the anchor of their team, he gets them going."
Noah threw in a reverse bear hug on Chandler to get that fracas going. Chandler insisted there was no ill will. "I don't think he's a dirty player at all," Chandler said. "It was frustration from the game and we got tangled up. That was that."
But Anthony made sure to note the next time the Knicks face the Bulls: at the Garden in three weeks. "Jan. 11," he said as he left the locker room. "We'll be prepared."