"(Things) were definitely escalating, but I don't think they're used to being down that much, too," Noah said. "If they were up 20 points, I don't think they would have been that frustrated."
The fans weren't happy, either. Spike Lee stood a couple of feet behind referee Zach Zarba from his courtside seat in the fourth quarter, staring a hole through Zarba after one call went against the Knicks.
The Knicks had much bigger problems than the officiating.
They missed 10 of their first 11 shots as Chicago raced to a 14-2 lead. The advantage grew to 30-17 when Deng made a 3-pointer, and Belinelli followed with a free throw after Anthony was called for a technical foul after arguing a no-call on the other end. New York got it down to 30-23 when J.R. Smith made a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer.
"I think from the jump they were the more physical team from the beginning of the game and it carried out throughout the whole game. It kind of got to us a little bit," Anthony said. "We reacted rather than coming out from the jump being the more aggressive team and we found ourselves in a hole, and by the time we tried to be aggressive it was a little bit too late at that point in time."
The Knicks cut it to 42-37 midway through the second quarter before their offense stalled again. Chicago scored 12 straight points, taking its biggest lead at 54-37 on a free throw by Carlos Boozer with 10.9 seconds remaining, before Anthony stopped the Knicks' 5-minute scoreless drought with a driving layup with 3.2 seconds to go.
Smith had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who fell to 19-7. Their 19 wins through 25 games was bettered only twice in franchise history, when they were 23-2 in 1969-70 and 20-5 in 1972-73. They won the NBA title both times.
Deng appeared to hurt his left shoulder in the third quarter when Jason Kidd reached in on him, but returned to the game after using a heating pad on the bench.
NOTES: With Amare Stoudemire getting close to returning from left knee surgery, Woodson said he will talk to the forward Saturday about how he is feeling. Stoudemire practiced twice this week with the Knicks' NBA Development League team so he could scrimmage, since the Knicks weren't holding full-court practices. Woodson said he wasn't sure if Stoudemire would be able to play Sunday. ... The Bulls are 6-1 against the Atlantic Division. ... Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand was at the game and received a long, loud ovation when a segment about his paralysis was shown on the video board.