Duo seal comprehensive wins against their rivals.
The Eastern Conference took centre stage on Thursday night, and the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks picked up much needed wins against their bitter rivals to raise spirits.
Both teams had been struggling, the Knicks were suffering from a disappointing start to the season despite aspirations of a title while the Bulls were rocked by the injury sustained by Derrick Rose.
The explosive point guard spoke to the media for the first time on Thursday, and his words apparently had an inspirational effect as his team-mates sealed a 20-point win over the defending champions.
Joakim Noah had 17 points and 15 rebounds and revealed after the game that it was a much needed outcome in what has been a difficult couple of weeks for Chicago.
“Our team needed it,” Noah told reporters.
“We went through a lot the past couple of weeks. It’s really hard to play without Derrick. I want to win with Derrick Rose.”
Carlos Boozer had 27 points, Luol Deng added 20 while Taj Gibson chipped in with 19 as the Bulls shot 50 per cent and were 10 for 19 on three-pointers. Additionally, they were dominant in the paint as they out-rebounded Miami 49-27.
Dwayne Wade was missing for the visitors with illness, and while LeBron James scored 21 points it wasn’t enough as the Heat fell to another disappointing loss after their defeat to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
At the Barclays Center, Miami’s misery was shared with by the Brooklyn Nets who were crushed by the Knicks who snapped a nine-game losing streak.
Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and 10 rebounds while Iman Shumpert scored a season-high 17 points as the Knicks romped to a 113-83 win.
Anthony had claimed that his team were the “laughing stock” of the NBA prior to the game, and his words appeared to get a reaction from his team-mates as they made a season-high 16 3-pointers to rediscover a stroke that they have been missing since last season.
New York Knicks 113-83 Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Clippers 101-81 Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat 87-107 Chicago Bulls