Bulls make certain Knicks stay at the bottom of the pile
CHICAGO – Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points, Pau Gasol added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls handed the Knicks their franchise-record 60th loss, beating New York 111-80 Saturday night.
The Knicks dropped their seventh in a row and 14th in 16 games.
The rookie Mirotic had another strong game, finishing five points shy of his career high. Gasol recorded his league-leading 48th double-double as Chicago won for the fifth time in six games.
The Bulls, who led by 20 at halftime, fell four points short of their most lopsided victory of the season. They pulled within two games of Central Division leader Cleveland and moved 1½ games ahead of fourth-place Toronto in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks maintained their "lead" in the push to have the best lottery chance that comes with the league's worst record. The Knicks have won 14 games and have a winning percentage of .189. The Timberwolves have won 16, a winning percentage of .222.
•NOTHING LEFT OF THE HAWKS: Kemba Walker scored 21 points and the host Charlotte Hornets beat an Atlanta Hawks team missing all five starters 115-100. Gerald Henderson scored 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting, and Mo Williams hit four three-pointers and had 18 points as the Hornets ended a three-game losing streak. Charlotte (31-41) moved back within a game of eighth place in the tight Eastern Conference. The Hawks sat all five starters one night after clinching the top seed in the East playoffs.
DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Korver, Al Horford and Paul Millsap were given a night to rest, while Jeff Teague sat out with a sprained ankle. The Hornets played without forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is expected to miss seven to 10 days with a sprained left ankle, according to coach Steve Clifford.
The Hawks lost despite shooting 15-for-30 from three-point range. Mike Muscala, from Roseville, had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks.