98 - 102 Final
  for this game

Duhon delivers against former team as Knicks beat Bulls

Jan 19, 2009 - 10:21 PM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- When the New York Knicks folded down the stretch on Saturday, back spasms prevented Chris Duhon from helping his teammates.

Facing the prospect of another tough loss, Duhon shrugged off the pain.

Duhon hit the go-ahead layup with 31.2 seconds left and scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks held off the Chicago Bulls, 102-98, on Monday afternoon.

Quentin Richardson led the Knicks with 24 points and teamed up with Duhon, who began his career with four seasons in Chicago, to help close out New York's third win in five games.

"It feels good," Duhon said. "This is a game we needed. They're ahead of us in the standings, and this is huge win for us."

Duhon played just 26 minutes in Saturday's 10-point loss and sat out the fourth quarter when the Knicks got within one point of Philadelphia before allowing 10 straight points. That came on the heels of a massive fold in Friday's seven-point loss in Washington.

Facing his former team for the second time, Duhon played the entire fourth quarter Monday and steered the Knicks away from another collapse.

"He plays such a big part," New York coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He comes up with the big charge and big bucket at the end. He gutted it out, which I expected him to do."

"For me, I know exactly what he's going through," said Richardson, who has battled back problems throughout his tenure in New York. "With me going through back problems and having back spasms and all that stuff, I tip my hat off to him. I definitely appreciate it and I tell him that every day."

Rookie Danilo Gallinari helped New York get a six-point lead early in the fourth. But Chicago chipped away and went ahead when rookie Derrick Rose hit a 10-foot fadeaway with 2:35 remaining.

Rose scored 20 points in his Madison Square Garden debut while Luol Deng scored 20 in three quarters.

After Rose's basket, the Knicks closed the game with an 8-1 run. Richardson started it with a 3-pointer in front of Chicago's bench with 2:15 remaining.

Chicago, which shot under 43 percent (40-of-94), then helped the Knicks by missing big shots. Deng missed an open 19-footer with 1:47 to go and with the Bulls up by one, they missed two chances to expand the lead when Kirk Hinrich missed a 3-pointer and Tyrus Thomas blew a layup.

"We just did not shoot the ball well tonight against a team that gives up a high field-goal percentage," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I thought we got a little stagnant at times. We had our chances but not converting when we need to around the basket is costly."

That allowed the Knicks to regain the lead for good when Duhon raced through traffic and converted a layup with 31.2 seconds left. Duhon, who was listed as questionable before the contest, then added a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left.

"I think they missed an easy shot and we were able to push it up and kind of got them not on the set defense," Duhon said. "Jared (Jeffries) did a great job of setting the pick that I was able to get around."

Chicago had one more chance to tie and put the ball in Knicks-killer Ben Gordon's hands. But Gordon, who was 3-of-15, misfired badly on a 3-pointer that was contested by David Lee.

"I knew that he had to shoot a three," Lee said. "I tried to stay up and was able to challenge his shot."

"It's frustrating," Gordon said. "We do everything to just stay in the game and when the game's on the line, we just didn't come through with the plays. It's good that we're in games, but we've got to be in there at the end."

Before the Knicks secured the victory, they struggled to finish the first half and third quarter.

New York led by 13 with three minutes left and settled for a 57-54 halftime lead. New York then led by nine with just under five minutes to go in the third and could not stop Deng or Hinrich, who combined to score 11 points and cut the lead to 78-77 through three.

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