By KATE HEDLIN
(AP) -- While a five-game losing streak has quieted the New York Knicks and "Linsanity", Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls haven't lost a step despite injuries.
The Bulls hope to have at least one of three missing starters back when they host the Knicks on Monday night.
Chicago (34-9) owns the best record in the NBA, having won nine of 10. That success is all the more impressive considering the injuries the Bulls (34-9) have sustained.
Rose has missed 10 games this season, Luol Deng has missed eight and Richard Hamilton, expected to be a starter when he was signed in the offseason, has been limited to 16 games.
Deng (wrist), Hamilton (shoulder) and Joakim Noah (illness) all sat out Chicago's 111-97 home win over Utah on Saturday. Of the three, Noah has the greatest chance of playing Monday.
Despite missing the three starters - as well as key reserve C.J. Watson (sprained ankle) - the Bulls easily defeated the Jazz. Rose finished with 24 points and 13 assists while Kyle Korver, making his fifth start, shot 6 of 11 from 3-point range to finish with a season-high 26 points. He also had seven rebounds and six assists.
"Everybody stepped up," said Carlos Boozer, who had 27 points and eight rebounds. "We've got a group of guys that believe in each other and that no matter who's out there, we can win."
The Bulls were also without Deng and Hamilton when they defeated the Knicks 105-102 on Feb. 2 at Madison Square Garden. It's uncertain if either will be back anytime this week as Chicago opens a tough stretch with Miami visiting on Wednesday before back-to-back home games against Portland and Philadelphia.
"We try to find a new way to answer this question every day," Korver said. "I think a couple guys might come back on Monday, but if not, we'll just keep on plugging it in."
While the Bulls held on to beat New York last month behind 32 points and 13 assists from Rose, this will be their first time facing Jeremy Lin, who didn't appear in the first meeting.
Lin reinvigorated the Knicks (18-23) in early February, helping lead them to seven straight wins, but he and his teammates now find themselves in the midst of a five-game losing streak, including a 106-94 home defeat to Philadelphia on Sunday.
Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points but didn't make a field goal over the final three quarters. Lin added 14 points, but shot just 5 of 18 and had six turnovers for the Knicks, who shot 41.3 percent and trailed by as many as 21 points. They've trailed by at least 15 during each game of the losing streak.
Coach Mike D'Antoni insisted he wasn't sending a message by sitting Anthony and Amare Stoudemire the entire fourth quarter, but a lack of energy is certainly plaguing the Knicks.
New York is giving up an average of 110.6 points during its March skid, with the last three opponents combining to shoot 51.0 percent. Those numbers may not improve against the Bulls and Rose, who is averaging 27.0 points in his last seven games against New York.
The losing streak has left New York just one game ahead of Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"Yeah, it's definitely not easy," said Stoudemire, who scored 34 points against the Bulls last month. "Tough game in Chicago. A lot of games within this month against tough, competitive teams. So it's up to us as players to want to do better out there."
Chicago is seeking its third consecutive victory in this series.
Updated March 11, 2012