for this game

Gordon, Bulls rout Knicks

Dec 30, 2007 - 9:42 PM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Jim Boylan's first significant lineup move has the Chicago Bulls hopeful of a turnaround.

Ben Gordon scored 25 points off the bench Sunday afternoon as the Bulls posted a 100-83 victory over the New York Knicks.

Luol Deng added 17 for Chicago, which has won consecutive games for the first time in nearly three weeks. Kirk Hinrich collected 13 points and eight assists while Ben Wallace pulled down 10 rebounds as the Bulls improved to 2-0 under Boylan.

The win was the second in as many games for Boylan, who was one of Scott Skiles' assistants before being named as the interim coach for the rest of the season.

Boylan also saw his team hold an opponent under 85 points for the sixth time this season and shoot over 50 percent for just the third time all season.

"Our offense is a lot better," Deng said. "The best thing has been the ball movement. We're really playing together. We're finding the open guy and just sharing the ball, which we haven't done all year."

"I think everbody's just playing relaxed, trying to play together more," Gordon added. "Guys are moving the ball more, trying to get people open shots and things like that. That's when we're at our best, when we play together."

Boylan's first game was Friday's 103-99 win over Milwaukee, and it came after the Bulls' new coach asked Gordon to come off the bench.

The move worked against Milwaukee, as Gordon scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth and it was successful again.

Gordon scored 13 in the first half Sunday as Chicago opened a 50-43 lead and finished off the Knicks by scoring seven straight points in the fourth quarter.

That put Chicago ahead 87-71 with under five minutes remaining, and it also came after Boylan called a timeout following two straight turnovers by Gordon that resulted in New York getting within 12.

"Ben is a starter," Knicks forward Zach Randolph said. "Everyone in the league knows that. That is their advantage because he comes out there and gets to play against the second unit."

Gordon, the 2004-05 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, was 8-of-20 Friday, but this time was much more efficient as he finished 11-of-15 and made three 3-pointers.

"What can I say," Boylan said. "He came out this afternoon and was just solid out there. His defense was good. He moved the ball. He made the plays he needed to make and he was obviously very efficient shooting and it seems like he's in a great rhythm and hopefully we can continue that."

"It felt good early," Gordon said. "I pretty much know if I'm going to have a good shooting game from the warmups. Anytime I have a really good warmup and get into a good rhythm, I can tell if I'm going to have a good shooting game. Last couple of games, my rhythm has been good."

Boylan was not the only coach to adjust his lineup. For the second straight game, Knicks coach Isiah Thomas used a different starting lineup, but it did not prevent his team from losing their fourth straight game and dropping to 8-21.

Randolph replaced Eddy Curry at center while Nate Robinson replaced Jamal Crawford, who sat out with a bruised right hand.

Randolph finished with 18 points but shot 8-of-23. Randolph's shooting woes were indicative of the Knicks, who missed several layups and finished at 37.2 percent (32-of-86) from the floor.

"It is a lot of disappointment," New York forward David Lee said. "For me, it is a lot of anger and frustration. It is not about the effort. We just need to find a way to execute."

The poor shooting and 16 turnovers led to their league-leading 14th double-digit loss and their 11th defeat in 14 games in December following a 5-10 start. Unlike last Sunday's 95-90 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Thomas did indicate more changes to the lineup were coming.

"We had a lot of unforced turnovers," Thomas said. "Those unforced turnovers turned into easy baskets."

Randolph was not the only Knick to struggle. Other than Robinson's 7-of-17 showing, it was a rough day for New York as Quentin Richardson was 5-of-16 and Curry was 3-of-9.

"It's pretty bad," Curry said. "It is definitely not a good feeling, but we just have to plug away at it."

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