New York, NY (Sports Network) - Raymond Felton recorded 20 points, 12 assists and five steals and spearheaded New York's powerful defensive effort in the fourth quarter to help the Knicks beat the Bulls, 103-95, in a Christmas showdown at Madison Square Garden.
This is the first time these two storied franchises have met on this holiday since 1994, and although the contest didn't feature Michael Jordan or Patrick Ewing, both clubs showed a dazzling offensive display -- that is, until the fourth quarter.
What was a high-scoring affair through three quarters -- it was 85-83 -- turned into a brick-laying contest in the fourth. The game was tied, 87-87, after Chicago made its first two shots in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls missed their next 12 shots to fall behind by 10.
Derrick Rose filled up the stat sheet for Chicago with 25 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals, but the Bulls were unable to atone for a 120-112 loss to New York at United Center on November 4.
"He was attacking and there were a long of bang-bang plays in there," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "On several fast breaks we didn't convert. We have to do better."
Carlos Boozer added 26 points and 19 rebounds in defeat.
Felton started the game-changing 10-0 burst, hitting a driving layup with 9:51 to play. The Bulls proceeded to go scoreless until there was 1:52 remaining on the clock, with Rose missing on several drives while Kyle Korver missed a pair of shots.
Ronnie Brewer's two missed free throws were Chicago's best chance to score during the stretch, and Wilson Chandler capped New York's run with a short jumper for a 97-87 lead.
The Bulls didn't get closer than six down the stretch.
"We're really playing great defense right now," Felton said. "Our offense is clicking right now, as well. Our defense has really been great over these past couple of games. That's why we're winning games. We beat a really good team today. They are one of the best teams in the league right now, in my opinion. So, it's just a good win for us, especially on Christmas Day."
New York held a slim 21-20 lead after the first quarter, but Chicago came back to grab a 54-52 lead at halftime.
Stoudemire's dunk with 8:45 left in the third preceded two Felton baskets -- one from beyond the arc -- to push the Knicks in front, 64-63. Felton drilled another triple a short time later, and Landry Fields followed with a three- point play to extend the lead to six.
New York led the rest of the third, though Luol Deng's two free throws pulled Chicago to within 85-83 heading to the fourth.
The Knicks are 21-25 all-time on Christmas, and their 46 Christmas appearances are the most in league history...Both teams were turnover-prone, with the Knicks committing 24 and the Bulls 22. Boozer, Rose and Stoudemire each had seven turnovers...Danilo Gallinari and Chandler each had 15 points for New York, while Deng scored 15 for Chicago...The Knicks shot 12-for-22 from three- point range.