NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks manhandled the Chicago Bulls on the boards and defensively shut down everyone but Michael Jordan in rolling to a 93-86 victory last night to tie their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, 2-2.
Game 5 will be played in Chicago tomorrow night, but this was an inspirational victory for the Knicks, who had lost their seven previous meetings with the Bulls at Madison Square Garden.
The Bulls played most of the second half without coach Phil Jackson, who was ejected after drawing two technicals from referee Dick Bavetta.
But that was only part of the problem for the defending champions, who were consistently out-muscled by Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, Xavier McDaniel and Patrick Ewing on both ends of the floor.
McDaniel led the Knicks with 24 points. Jordan, playing with a slight ankle sprain, scored 29.
The Knicks came out aggressively, jumping to a 10-4 lead with McDaniel and Ewing doing most of the damage.
When McDaniel hammered Bulls center Bill Cartwright on a layup attempt and no flagrant foul was called, Jackson exploded and was assessed a technical by Bavetta.
But the Bulls quickly regrouped. Jordan hit a pair of jumpers and jammed home a lob pass from Scottie Pippen to ignite an 8-0 run and give the visitors their first lead.
The Knicks kept their poise and reclaimed the lead when Oakley, Gerald Wilkins and Jackson sparked a 9-2 spurt to go ahead 21-16. Jackson's blind pass to a trailing Wilkins capped the rally.
Chicago tried to counter by posting Jordan low, but this brought quick double-teaming by the Knicks, forcing Jordan to give up the ball.
Everything seemed to be going New York's way. Wilkins, trapped with the ball and the 24-second clock expiring, tossed up a wild bank shot in the lane that found the mark for 27-21. But the Bulls scored the last four points of the quarter to trail 27-25.
Both teams shot better than 55 percent from the field. Jordan led the scoring with 10 points.
With Ewing taking a breather, the Knicks turned to a perimeter game. A three-pointer by John Starks and McDaniel's bank shot provided a 34-29 cushion.
The Bulls, meanwhile, were content to isolate Jordan and allow him to go one-on-one against Starks. This produced a pair of baskets, but Starks countered with two long jumpers to keep the Knicks ahead, 40-33.
Jordan took his first rest at this point, and the Bulls hardly missed him. Cartwright, John Paxson and Craig Hodges hit jumpers, with Hodges' three-pointer tying it at 40.
Another jumper by Paxson put the Bulls back on top, 42-41. Ewing was struggling to score from the field, but his two free throws gave New York a 47-45 lead. But the Bulls used a jumper by Jordan and a follow-up by Horace Grant to close the first half with a 49-47 lead.
Jordan, with 20 points on 9-for-15 shooting, dominated the Bulls offense. Grant chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds. McDaniel led the Knicks with 12 points, one more than Starks. Ewing made one of eight field-goal attempts in a six-point half.
New York pulled even at 51 when Oakley made a strong inside move and Wilkins followed with a breakaway dunk. The Bulls showed excellent ball movement in setting up baskets by reserve center Will Perdue and Paxson for a 59-55 lead. Ewing kept it close by swishing consecutive baseline jumpers over Perdue.
But Ewing picked up his fourth personal with five minutes left in the third quarter and was replaced by Mason.
Chicago also had its foul problems, putting New York in a bonus free-throw situation in the last four minutes of the quarter. Oakley's two foul shots tied it again, 61-61.
Jordan left the game to get his ankle taped, the result of a hard collision under the Bulls basket.
Neither team could put a streak together. The Knicks utilized their strong offensive rebounding to compensate for poor shooting. The Bulls suffered the same fate at the foul line, with Pippen missing a pair.
With four seconds left in the third quarter, Jackson drew a second technical and was ejected by Bavetta. Starks converted the technical, but the Bulls ended the period clinging to a 67-66 lead.
The momentum swung in the Knicks' favor at the start of the fourth quarter. Starks began a seven-point streak with a reverse slam.