It looked like it was going to be and easier game then it was for the Bulls. The Knicks were hurting, missing two of their biggest stars and sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
But never underestimate a team with it’s back against the wall.
The Knicks were a half game from vein leap frogged by the Bucks which meant a loss would have thrown them out of the playoff party for the the being. Carmelo Anthony and company didn’t want that to happen.
Anthony threw down 43 huge points and gave the Bulls a gigantic scare in New York.
Will The Bulls Exact Revenge on Tuesday Again the Knicks?
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The Knicks led by as much as 21 points in the game but the Bulls came surging back leading by ten with around 5:00 left to go int he game. That’s when the Knicks kicked it into high gear and went off on the Bulls slowly but surely pulling within three points with under :30 left to play.
That’s when the Bulls had the worst kind of hiccup.
It was a flashback to an earlier Sunday matinee game against the Heat. Derrick Rose stepped up to the line with two chances to make it a four point, two possession lead.
He bricked both of them.
Carmelo Anthony did the opposite of what LeBron James did in the game and instead went the distance of the court and drilled a beautiful three pointer to tie the game 91-91 with 0:11 left.
Chicago elected to go to overtime where it was their turn to kick it into high gear.
Joakim Noah had been mostly silent the entire game, which was one of the reasons the Knicks were able to jump out to such a gigantic lead and then eventually come back from the Bulls comeback.
Noah and Rose had four points each to start overtime and the Bulls jumped on the Knicks. But Carmelo Anthony showed that he can be the leader of this team, driving for a layup and then nailing a huge three pointer to put the Knicks up 100-99 with 0:08 left.
Chicago inbounded the ball but Derrick Rose missed one of his signature cartoon like drives to the basket. Chicago had a chance to close out twice against the Knicks both at the end of the fourth quarter and at the end of overtime but they allowed Carmelo Anthony to kill them in both situations.
But it was the shanked free throws at the end which killed the Bulls, and it really shouldn’t have. Chicago usually shoots well from the charity stripe, but the fact that they can’t seem to do so in clutch situations must be monitored. The Heat will try to exploit this if Chicago continues to be sloppy with free points.
But at the end of the day Rose is back in the lineup He finished Easter Sunday with 29 points and he didn’t get much help elsewhere. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer and Boozer did have 16 rebounds, but the Bench Mob let the Bulls down and weren’t able to give the Bulls any aide.
And of course there were those free throws Derrick Rose missed.
The loss drops the Bulls to 40-14 and with a win by the Heat means Miami is just 2 games behind them in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago has a chance for revenge on their turf, as the Kicks travel to downtown Chicago for a rematch on Tuesday before a massive game against the Heat which very well could be a lead changer in the East.