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Bulls triumph without Rose

CHICAGO -- Luol Deng scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half and Joakim Noah added 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 93-86 win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

The Bulls again played without Derrick Rose, out due to a strained groin for the 12th consecutive game. Chicago, which has been without Rose for 22 games this season, improved to 15-7 in his absence -- including 8-4 during the latest stretch.

The Bulls rallied from 13 points down in the first half and pulled away in the fourth quarter to end its first two-game losing streak of the season.

Paul Pierce scored 22 points for Boston, which has lost two in a row after a winning a season-high five straight.


Knicks blast Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The New York Knicks seemed to be the NBA's resident team-in-turmoil last month, stumbling through coaching issues and their second prolonged losing streak of the season.

In their second matchup with Orlando in just over a week, it was the Knicks that took advantage of a team caught up in off-court drama for a 96-80 win over the Magic on Thursday night.

Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points and Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead New York past a Magic team that appears to be sliding headfirst back into the soap opera that has trailed center Dwight Howard all season.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy on Thursday morning said he had heard from top team management officials that Howard has previously requested that he be fired. Later in the day, Howard and his teammates trudged their way to a season-high fifth straight defeat.

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