NEW YORK -- Derrick Rose and Joaquin Noah will get another shot at their former team when the New York Knicks host the Chicago Bulls on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
With the Bulls (19-20), Rose was the MVP in 2011 and Noah was the league's Defensive Player of the Year for the 2013-14 season. The duo was part of an offseason makeover by the Knicks, who haven't made the playoffs in three seasons.
The Knicks (17-22) won the first meeting, 117-104, in Chicago on Nov. 4. Rose scored 15 points and dished out 11 assists, while Noah recorded 16 points and nine rebounds.
But that is ancient history. New York has dropped nine of its last 10 games and the news surrounding Rose hasn't been positive. He never showed up for the game against New Orleans on Monday at the Garden, a 110-96 loss, leaving his teammates and coach Jeff Hornacek holding the bag on his unexcused absence.
Rose returned to practice on Tuesday and offered an explanation.
"It was a family issue," Rose said. "It had nothing to do with the team or basketball. That's the first time I ever felt like that emotionally and I had to be with my family."
He returned on Wednesday, scoring 25 points in the Knicks' 98-97 buzzer-beater loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
In the second quarter, New York led by as much as 17 points. Philadelphia stormed back on a 15-3 run to close the half and started the third quarter on a 13-4 run. It erased a 13-point deficit in the final 8:49 of the game.
"We have to go out and win the next one and keep our heads up," Rose said.
The 76ers had lost 78 straight games when trailing by 15 or more points.
"It's a tough way to lose," said Hornacek. "We let them (Philadelphia) come right back. We weren't able to finish it."
Carmelo Anthony poured in 28 points, passing Robert Parrish for the 26th on the all-time scoring list with 23,337 points. Charles Barkley is 25th at 23,757.
The Bulls are dealing with their own issues at guard. Chicago will have a rejuvenated Rajon Rondo on Thursday. Rondo, who played 27 minutes in Tuesday's 101-99 loss to the Washington Wizards, was coming off a five-game benching by Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg.
"I got a slight explanation from another guy on the (coaching) staff," Rondo said. "The guy told me that he was saving me from myself.
"Save me from myself?" he said. "I've never heard that before in my life. I guess he was trying to do the best thing for me."
Rondo finished with 12 points on 6-for-13 shooting, six assists, four rebounds, three steals and two turnovers in 27-plus minutes.
The Bulls will need that kind of production from their mercurial guard as they may be without Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic, who both missed the Washington game with illnesses.