I guess none of the current Knicks remember the days when MSG would give out Pizza Hut coupons on nights the home team held the opposition below 80 points. From Newsday’s Alan Hahn.
Where’s the beef? The Knicks had one with the Chicago Bulls. But things didn’t heat up until after a rare blowout loss, 98-69, last night at United Center, that all but snuffed the Knicks’ playoff hopes.
With the sellout crowd urging them on, the Bulls reserves fired away in the final minute of the game in an attempt to reach 100 points. Around here, 100 points and a win gets you a free Big Mac. And 22,296 Chicagoans were hungry.
“I don’t cook, so I wanted one for myself,” Bulls guard Chris Duhon said. “We certainly didn’t mean any disrespect by it.”
But the ornery Knicks, who were playing their fourth game in five nights (and it showed), took exception to the fun at their expense. Or, at least, the expense of the young players that Isiah Thomas had on the floor to finish a game that had been a 30-point blowout for most of the second half.
Steve Francis jumped off the bench as the final horn sounded and started barking at the Bulls players. Nate Robinson, who was suspended 10 games in December for his part in the brawl with the Denver Nuggets, was right behind him. Thomas cut them both off just as Bulls rookie Tyrus Thomas fired back at Francis.
“As a veteran, I know when people are trying to run a score up on you. I told one of their players, if I had been in the game it would have been something different,” said Francis, who played 29:56 and had six points.
Bulls coach Scott Skiles (above) before the game was already fed up with the premature talk of Curry’s arrival as a franchise center – “It seems he’s being put on a pedestal awfully quickly here,” Skiles said – and afterward had heard enough from the Knicks.
“I have never been accused of running up the score,” Skiles said. “From everything I hear, the Knicks are on the verge of becoming a great team. So they are probably a team we will be playing over and over again in the years to come. Something like this should not fester.”
Especially not after you see that the Bulls merely outscored the Knicks by a slim point, 20-19 in the fourth quarter. Not exactly running-it-up statistics. But they did look for shots in the final minute, which is a no-no in the unwritten NBA etiquette for blowout wins. Proper form is to dribble out the shot clock. Never, ever shoot at the buzzer.
George Karl and Carmelo Anthony were unavailable for comment.