Bulls snap Knicks' 13-game win streak

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


CHICAGO -- Carmelo Anthony was the high scorer, but he wasn't this game's most efficient scorer.
That honor went to Chicago guard Nate Robinson, who hit 10-of-18 shots for 35 points, leading the Bulls to a 118-111 overtime victory over the New York Knicks on Thursday night at the United Center.
The result snapped the Knicks' 13-game winning streak. Of course, the Bulls have some experience in that category, having ended Miami's 27-game win streak on March 27. Chicago also swept all four games against New York this season.
Anthony finished with 36 points and 19 rebounds, his sixth straight game with at least 35 points. But he hit just 13-of-34 shots from the field.
After Chicago trailed by 15 points in the third quarter and led 99-90 with 5:38 left, the teams went to overtime.
The Bulls got off to a fast start in the extra session, opening with a Robinson drive and 3-point play, then a 3-pointer from Luol Deng made it 111-107. Robinson, who spent his first five NBA seasons with the Knicks, kept rolling and scored 8 points overall in overtime.
"Nate was cooking," teammate Kirk Hinrich said. "We just kept going to him. Nate's a pure scorer. He hits a couple and it's over, his confidence goes through the roof."
Jimmy Butler added 22 points and 14 rebounds for Chicago, while Deng scored 16 points.
After the game, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau stressed the important of having Deng back in the lineup. He missed the two previous games with a sore hip and the Bulls lost twice to sub-.500 opponents.
"Lu playing was just huge for our team and of course Nate, that was a monster game, a monster game," Thibodeau said.
Deng ran into some foul trouble, so Butler spent more time guarding Anthony. In the past two games, Butler played 98 of a possible 101 minutes.
"I loved Jimmy's demeanor, just because it's tough," Thibodeau said. "The guy (Anthony) is coming at you, you're battling him, he had a couple tough calls go against him. Carmelo has the ability to make a shot when you defend him well. But Jimmy will keep coming. He doesn't get discouraged."
After trailing by as many as 17 points, the Bulls went ahead 85-82 on Richard Hamilton's 3-pointer at the 10:25 mark of the fourth quarter and tried to hang on. Smith brought New York back with seven points down the stretch and his post hook trimmed the margin to 105-103 with 1:16 left.
The Knicks missed one chance to take the lead when Jason Kidd missed a 3-pointer. After forcing another Chicago miss, Anthony tied the score on two free throws with 14.5 seconds remaining.
The Bulls tried to work for the last shot, but Deng missed a bank shot under pressure from Anthony, then Anthony's 20-footer at the buzzer was off target.
"The streak is over with," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "It would have been nice if Carmelo's shot went in and we would be leaving here with a win. However, there is no shame at all in losing a streak like that."
The Knicks started out on fire, hitting their first six shots of the game and 11 of the first 14, while jumping to an early 23-6 lead. Once the Bulls settled in on defense, they closed to within 40-38 midway through the second quarter.
There was a crazy sequence late in the first half. In a span of 10 seconds, Anthony drew three fouls -- two on Butler and one on Deng. Then Anthony got a technical for talking to Butler and Robinson was hit with a technical for riding Anthony. A few minutes later, Deng complained about a foul call and picked up the third technical of the half -- all given by veteran official Joe Crawford.
New York set an NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a season Thursday with 847. Orlando held the previous mark of 841 during the 2009-10 season. The Knicks started this game shooting well from 3-point range, but made just one of their final 14 attempts.
NOTES: The Bulls moved a step closer to good health with the return of Deng, who missed the past two games with a sore hip. Chicago was without Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis), Taj Gibson (left knee sprain) and Derrick Rose (knee surgery). ... New York's injury report was heavy on big men. The Knicks didn't have Tyson Chandler (bulging disc), Kenyon Martin (sprained left ankle), Marcus Camby (plantar fasciitis), Amare Stoudemire (right knee), Rasheed Wallace (foot) and Kurt Thomas (foot). ... Out of necessity, New York started a front line of Anthony, Chris Copeland and Iman Shumpert. The 6-8 Copeland jumped center against Chicago's 6-7 Butler. ... Bulls guard Derrick Rose and New York forward Iman Shumpert are both Chicago natives, but have more than that in common. The two players suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments in their left knee last year on April 28. While Rose is still working to come back, Shumpert returned to game action on Jan. 17 and has played in 41 games this season. Of course, Rose's job is to carry the Bulls, while Shumpert is a defensive-minded role player who averages 20 minutes per game. ... Anthony weighed in on the Rose watch at the morning shootaround. "I wish y'all would stop rushing Derrick back," Anthony said. "Please. He shouldn't come back until he's about 110 percent ready." ... The Knicks' longest all-time win streak is 18 games, set in 1969-70.

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