Melo carries Knicks past Bulls in OT

Anthony celebrates after hitting the game-winning 3-pointer.

The Knicks continue to hold onto their slim lead on the bottom-rung of the Eastern Conference playoffs standings with a thrilling and improbable 100-99 overtime win over the Bulls.  

Led by Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks (29-27) erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to force the extra frame. The Bulls had a second-half surge in which they erased a 21-point first-half deficit to take their first lead of the game when they led 73-72 with just 34.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but were unable to seal the deal as the Knicks stormed back late.   

Chicago (43-14) went the past 12 games without the services of the league’s reigning MVP, Derrick Rose. But as misfortunes would have it, Rose returned from a groin malady just in time to torment the Knicks. Rose, who’s missed a total of 22 games this season with a myriad of injuries, started slow but caught fire in the pivotal third quarter when he helped erase an eight-point halftime deficit and flipped that into a 75-72 lead after three quarters.     

Rose’s heroics weren’t enough, however, as Anthony did everything he could to stave off the Bulls’ stampede. The much-maligned star raised his game to epic status as he drilled a deep 3-pointer with just 8.2 seconds remaining to give the Knicks a 100-99 lead. The shot came off of two clutch offensive rebounds that allowed Anthony to re-set the offense, sans a timeout, and nail a tightly-contested 3 that sent the crowd into an uproar.  

Anthony said he appreciated the grit his team showed in the comeback and also for not panicking when the Bulls stormed back.   

“We made stops and kept our composure down the stretch and made a run to win the game,” Anthony said. “We also kept our confidence and we just had the will to win this game.”     

Anthony, starting again at power forward in the absence of Amar’e Stoudemire (back), had a game-high 43 points (22 in the first half), including another huge 3 in the waning seconds of regulation to make it a 91-91 score. Anthony showed his leadership abilities as he was able to come through following two crucial Rose misses at the foul line moments earlier. Anthony’s 3-pointer capped a 10-0 Knicks run to send the game into overtime. Rose missed a jumper at the buzzer to force the extra session.   

The dramatic back-and-forth in the fourth quarter began with just three minutes remaining as the Knicks chipped away via hustle plays from Tyson Chandler and stifling defense. It also didn’t hurt that the Bulls were anemic from the foul line down the stretch.  
 
But while Anthony didn’t have his fellow superstar sidekick, Anthony did have Iman Shumpert. The rookie certainly sufficed as he tallied 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.    

Other teammates tried to match Anthony’s and Shumpert’s excellence, but no one else was able to find his shot, as the next highest scorer was J.R. Smith, who had 14 points but shot just 6-of-22, including 2-of-11 from 3. Overall, the Knicks shot just 38 percent, while the Bulls didn’t shoot much better (39 percent).   

Steve Novak came into the game shooting a league-best 48 percent from 3 and is widely regarded as a top-five shooter in the league, but his heroism fell short when he missed a wide-open 3 in the waning seconds. The shot went half-way down and rimmed out as the Bulls gathered the rebound. But the Bulls again bailed out the Knicks as Rose missed his two free throws that followed Luol Deng’s two missed freebies a possession earlier.

Knicks’ interim head coach Mike Woodson uttered “unbelievable” as he stepped to the podium, apparently just as shocked with the outcome as other were. By the time he was ready to answer questions, Woodson laughed when he recalled both of Anthony’s deep 3s, specifically the eventual game-winner.   

“I was screaming, ‘Take the ball to the basket,’” Woodson said with a chuckle, quickly ready to praise Anthony for his valor. “I’m starting to really dig this guy.”  

The Knicks as a team found a way to be courageous by snatching victory from defeat, as they rode the hot hand of Anthony and the smothering defense of Smith, Chandler and Shumpert. The triumvirate was critical in forcing Rose into a game-high eight turnovers in his return to action.       

The win could hopefully be a springboard for a Knicks team that ended the game just a 1/2 game behind the No. 7 Sixers, with a rematch Tuesday against the Bulls and the pivotal game against the Bucks the following night.


Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter
@TBone8 as the team make their playoff push.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.