BULLS 118 KNICKS 111 OT | UNITED CENTER
How it happened:
The Knicks glorious win streak ended at 13 on Thursday night. A valiant, shorthanded effort was thwarted by the hungry Bulls 118-111 in overtime.
In the first quarter, the Knicks utilized a familiar recipe to establish a 17-point lead: 3-point shooting. J.R. Smith buried a long ball near the end of the period, which placed New York atop the NBA list for most 3-pointers in a season for a team. The Knicks shot an incredible 7-of-11 behind the arc in the first period of action.
Behind former Knick Nate Robinson, the Bulls trimmed New York’s lead to just five points at the half. The Knicks seemed to re-capture the momentum and even built back the advantage to 13 points before Chicago reeled off an 18-7 run over the last five minutes of the third quarter.
Robinson scored 10 of his 35 points in the final stanza, igniting the home crowd and helping the Bulls extend their lead to nine points.
The Knicks refused to go quietly as Smith nailed a turnaround shot over Robinson while facing a two-point deficit. Down 105-103, Anthony fought his way to the rack and was fouled. The All-Star hit both shots at the charity stripe and had a chance at the win with 1.5 seconds on the game clock. Unfortunately, Anthony’s jumper hit the side of the cylinder and the Knicks and Bulls entered an extra session.
Chicago outscored New York 13-6 in the overtime period. Robinson finished an And-1 play, Luol Deng buried a 3-pointer, and Robinson dropped in another layup to finally push the game out of reach for the visiting Knicks.
The 3-point shooting magic ran out for New York. After the hot start, the Knicks only hit 3-of-19 shots to finish 33 percent from deep range. On the opposite side, Chicago shook off a rough 3-of-10 first half from the arc and finished with 10 treys in the win.
The competitive performance from New York was impressive considering Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas remained at home due to injuries. Head coach Mike Woodson was forced to feature a small-ball lineup with Chris Copeland at the starting center spot.
The Bulls also missed some key big men as Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were sidelined for the final regular season matchup between the two teams. Chicago improved to 4-0 against the Knicks this year.
Anthony registered a game-high 36 points, Smith added 28 off the bench, and Felton scored 19 points and dished out six assists in the defeat.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony broke a franchise record with his sixth consecutive game with at least 35 points. He filled the gaping hole in the paint by attacking the glass, hauling down 19 rebounds in the process.
Anthony and Smith combined for 33 of New York’s 52 rebounds. Despite missing four big men, the orange and blue managed to only lose the rebounding battle 53-52 tonight.
The Knicks jumped on a plane to Cleveland where they will wrap-up the two-game road trip against the Cavaliers tomorrow night.