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Noah's triple-double helps Bulls thump Knicks

Chicago,  IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Joakim Noah logged a triple-double and D.J. 
Augustin  scored  23 points as  the Chicago Bulls  cruised to a 109-90 victory 
over the New York Knicks in a matchup of teams headed in opposite directions. 

Noah  dished  out a career-best 14  assists to go  along with 13 points and 12 
rebounds  in  the Bulls'  ninth win  in 10  games. 

"What  can  you say? He  is playing MVP  basketball," Bulls forward Taj Gibson 
remarked. "He is doing everything in all facets of the game." 

Jimmy  Butler  chipped in  19 points and  Carlos Boozer finished  with 14 in a 
contest Chicago led the entire way. 

The  fading  Knicks dropped their sixth  in a row despite Carmelo Anthony's 21 
points and a 22-rebound effort from Tyson Chandler. 

Chicago began the game on fire, building a 16-1 lead just over four minutes in 
on  the  strength of a defense  that caused the  Knicks to go 0-for-4 from the 
field  and turn the ball over three times. The margin would swell to 21 points 
by  period's  end  after Butler's  layup  and  free  throw  gave the Bulls  a 
commanding 37-16 advantage. 

"You  can't play the game like a light switch, or you get buried," said Knicks 
guard  J.R.  Smith of the slow  start. "We've got  to come out with it already 
on." 

New  York did  manage to  cut into  the deficit  in the  second quarter,  with 
Amar'e Stoudemire scoring six points during an 8-0 run that brought the Knicks 
within  51-42 with  3  1/2 minutes  left before  the  break. The  differential 
remained  at nine until  Butler capped off a 17-point half by sinking a jumper 
in the closing seconds, putting Chicago up 59-48 at intermission. 

The  Knicks  failed to  make any  headway in the  third quarter, however. Kirk 
Hinrich  and  Mike Dunleavy  each buried  3-pointers during  an 8-2 spurt that 
extended  the Bulls' lead  to 74-56 just  past the midway  mark of the frame, 
though  New York ended the stanza on a 7-2 push and trailed 80-68 entering the 
fourth following Tim Hardaway Jr.'s successful floater at the buzzer. 

New  York got  no closer, though, as  Augustin dropped in six points to lead a 
9-2 run to start the final period and Chicago stretched the lead to as many as 
24 points during the game's latter stages. 

                                   Game Notes 

Guard  Jimmer  Fredette, signed  by the Bulls earlier in  the day, played the 
final  three minutes and  notched two points and a pair of rebounds ... Noah's 
triple-double  was the  fifth of  his career  and second  this season,  having 
registered  19  points, 16 rebounds and  11 assists against Atlanta on Feb. 11 
...  Iman Shumpert returned to action for New York after missing five straight 
games  with a  sprained knee, but managed  just three points in 20 minutes ... 
The  Knicks lost for  the sixth straight time at the United Center, where they 
haven't  won since  Nov. 4, 2010 ...  The game was part of the league's "Noche 
NBA" program designed to celebrate Latino heritage, with Chicago wearing black 
jerseys  that  displayed "Los Bulls" and  New York donning "Nueva York" on its 
uniforms. 

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