Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/22/12
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NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony already had been ejected with his second technical foul about midway through the fourth quarter when the Knicks star forward prepared to walk toward a hallway outside the team's locker room. That's when he saw his coach, Mike Woodson, making his own exit from the court. The pair would soon be joined by center Tyson Chandler, who was ejected along with Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah for "fighting" in the waning moments of Chicago's 110-106 win at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. "I walked in the hallway and Woody was walking back," Anthony said of his coach. Soon after, Anthony exited the shower and saw Chandler. "Once I saw that," Anthony added with a smile, "I knew that's how the night was going." It did not go well for the Knicks (19-6), who dropped their second game in their last three at the Garden, where they had started the season 10-0. Chicago (15-10) dominated throughout and was well on its way to a rout before the Knicks followed all the technical foul chaos by cutting their deficit to single digits for the first time since the end of the second quarter. It was the Bulls' fourth win in their last five games. Led by Luol Deng's 29 points and 13 rebounds and helped by Noah's aggressive play and 15 points and 12 rebounds, Chicago never trailed and was not really threatened in the final minutes despite the close final. "You get a 25-point lead against a team like this, you are doing a lot of good things," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said after his team limited the NBA's most prolific 3-point shooting team to 30.8 percent from long distance. New York was led by Anthony with 29 points and J.R. Smith with 26 but never really appeared to be in the game. "I don't think they are used to being down that much," Noah said. "If they were up 20 points, I don't think they would have been that frustrated. We will play this team a lot. They are a good team. They played hard, but we are happy right now." Noah was tossed after he and Chandler got into a shoving match while fighting for a rebound with 4:39 left in the game, and the Bulls leading 97-81. The players exchanged hard shoves and Noah said Chandler head-butted him -- which the Knicks center denied -- but they were quickly separated by teammates as they charged each other. They were called for a double technical and both tossed for fighting, though no blows appeared to be thrown. While Noah has a reputation for trash talk, Chandler acknowledged his role in the fracas and admitted there was some "frustration" in the air. "I don't think he is a dirty player at all," said Chandler, who added he has worked out with Noah during the offseason. "It was a frustration of the game and we got tangled up. That was that." Those ejections followed the tossing of Woodson with 5:22 left, after he got his second technical for heatedly arguing a foul call, which came on the heels of Anthony's second technical and ejection with 6:45 left. Chicago led 89-74 at that point, when Anthony was ejected for a hard foul on Noah. "Bad coaching tonight," Woodson said with a slight smile, repeating that answer whenever he was asked about any of the six technicals the Knicks received, and adding he wouldn't address them. "We will regroup and get ready for Sunday's game starting tomorrow." Anthony didn't offer much comment on his second technical, saying only "there was no point in trying to make a big scene." He said the Bulls, who opened the game with a 14-2 lead, were "more physical from the jump and it carried over." With Deng and Noah scoring inside and guards Marco Belinelli (22 points) and Kirk Hinrich (16 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) scoring from outside, the Bulls led by double digits for most of the game. With 2:06 left in the game, the Knicks got the deficit to single digits for the first time since late in the second quarter. Knicks forward Chris Copeland hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 101-92, but Chicago quickly countered with a layup by Deng. Knicks point guard Raymond Felton hit a layup with 4.5 seconds left to make it 108-104. But Deng hit two free throws to put the game away for Chicago. "I'm disappointed with our plays and disappointed with the fourth quarter," Thibodeau said. "When you are playing a team that shoots the three the way they shoot the three, if you let your guard down at all, they can make up ground very quickly on us." Deng left with six minutes to go in the third quarter, when Kidd fouled him, as the Bulls forward held his left arm, but he returned later in the third quarter and finished with 15 points in the second half. Woodson drew the team's second technical a few minutes after the foul call on Kidd, and the coach was heated as he continued to argue. With the Bulls already up 64-47, Belinelli hit the technical free throw and went on to score seven points during a 10-2 spurt that put Chicago up 74-49 with 3:04 left in the third quarter. The Bulls entered the fourth quarter up 83-61. "We see them again Jan. 10 back here in the Garden. We will be prepared," Anthony said. Told the game was scheduled for Jan. 11, Anthony cracked, "I'll be here early for that." NOTES: Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire (left knee surgery) is expected to return sometime next week and amid reports the Knicks looked to trade him this offseason and concerns of how Stoudemire will mesh with Anthony, Woodson said he was confident Stoudemire would adapt to whatever role is needed. "We're just trying to figure out after he's healthy to get him back in the flow and swing of things," Woodson said at the Friday morning shootaround. "That's all I'm concerned about." The New York Times reported the Knicks had shopped Stoudemire this summer, making him "available for free," according to an unnamed league executive in the report but other teams found the cost of Stoudemire's remaining contract prohibitive. "Amare'e is a big piece of the New York Knicks and that's why he's still here," Woodson said of the report at shootaround. ... Knicks guard Steve Novak returned after missing Wednesday's game with flulike symptoms. ... Thibodeau said it would be "a while" before Bulls guard Derrick Rose (left knee ACL surgery) can participate in contact drills.
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