Bulls vs. Knicks final score: Noah triple-double leads dismantling of New York

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

This game played out like you figured it would: one team is playing its best ball of the season, and is always up for any game in terms of preparation and effort. And they were playing the Knicks.

ABC had a graphic detailing the early-start-time struggles of New York: they were 0-6 in afternoon games, losing by a margin of 24 points. They actually improved that margin after this fine Sunday, merely losing by 19.

It looked like it may be 40 when the game began, as the Bulls surged to a 16-1 lead as the Knicks didn't have a field goal for the first 4:30 of the game. And they wound up allowing the Bulls a season-high 37 points in that quarter. The Bulls had 0 turnovers and more offensive rebounds than the Knicks had defensive ones.

Joakim Noah led them, of course, exposing a terrible defense with ease. The triple-double watch was on very early as that opening quarter as he had 5 assists. It was achieved at the beginning of the 4th quarter (after a scary-looking turned ankle early in the 3rd), and finished with 14 assists. The Knicks just offered up little resistance to the Bulls point-center offense: they'd frequently lose cutters going backdoor on them, and on other possessions even if one rotation was made semi-properly, the Bulls would just pass again to cause the inevitable breakdown. The Knicks were simply always late to the ball: sending the Bulls to the free-throw line for 33 attempts (14 for Jimmy Butler), yet only forcing 3 turnovers (tying a Bulls franchise record). While the Knicks had sporadic bursts of better offense after their horrific start, you could be comfortable knowing it wouldn't matter if they couldn't stop the Bulls at all.

The Knicks did keep the total blowout at bay for the middle quarters, at least disrupting the Bulls rhythm a bit with some sort of zone defense (that even Jeff Van Gundy had trouble exactly identifying...it was kind-of just lazy switching) and Amare Stoudemire putting in 12 point in the 2nd quarter to get the deficit down to 9 at its lowest. Carmelo Anthony did some remarkable work but was held in relative check with 21 points, Tyson Chandler had 22 rebounds more because someone had to get 'em, and that was pretty much all of the positive from the Knicks end: this team is terrible and falling apart, and they made nearly everyone on the Bulls look damned good today.

DJ Augustin caught fire in the 4th to finally blow it open, finishing with 21 points in that final period alone. Kirk Hinrich continued his hot shooting hitting 3 of 4 threes, and receiving a record number of compliments from the broadcast team.

Between bouquets to the Bulls, deriding the Knicks effort, Oscar predictions, shots of Derrick Rose's kid, and all other nonsense it was very much the Jeff Van Gundy show today. But that's mostly because the story on the floor was written before it even started: one team was far more likely to show up than the other, and it only took a few minutes to confirm that assumption. The Bulls hit the 100-point mark for the 4th straight game and even had 3 mintues of garbage time, with new Bull Jimmer Fredette hitting his first attempt. We knew from the past couple of games that the Bulls were rolling, so beating up on one of the worst teams in the league wasn't that surprising, but it did feel good.

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