There were no Carmelo Anthony last-second 3-pointers Tuesday night.
Instead, the Knicks lost 98-86 to the Bulls in a critical game for playoff seeding. The Knicks (29-28) drop from the No. 7 seed to the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
The Bulls were without reigning MVP Derrick Rose, who aggravated an ankle injury in Sunday’s loss to the Knicks in overtime. It didn’t matter. The Bulls were led by veteran guard Richard Hamilton with 20 points. Luol Deng had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Knicks meanwhile got little to nothing beyond Anthony, who was Sunday’s star. Anthony had 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting. The other four starters combined for 39 points.
“We still had our chances,” head coach Mike Woodson told reporters after the game. “In the third quarter we cut it to, I think, three. But offensively it was just one of those games. We didn’t have it.”
The Knicks were outscored 25-10 in the second quarter after taking a 25-22 lead after the first.
The Bucks, who hold the No. 9 spot in the conference, were idle Tuesday night, but the Sixers beat the Nets handily and took over the No. 7 spot. The Sixers had lost four straight prior to Tuesday’s win.
The Knicks face the Bucks Wednesday night in Milwaukee at 8 p.m.
What went wrong …
1. Who’s No. 1?
The Knicks got nothing from Baron Davis, who is starting for Jeremy Lin. Davis had eight points, six assists and four turnovers. He also only played 26 minutes. That often left Iman Shumpert to fill the role of the ballhandler on the court. He has never looked comfortable in that position. Toney Douglas gave them nothing off the bench (zero points, one turnover), though that was probably asking too much anyway.
2. Get on the glass
The Knicks were abused on the glass, both offensively and defensively. They were outrebounded 51-33 on the night, but even worse they were beaten on the offensive glass 18-5. That led to way too many second-chance points for Chicago. They took 17 more shots than New York thanks to those offensive rebounds. Tyson Chandler had 15 rebounds, but only two were offensive. He was the only Knick with multiple offensive rebounds, while the Bulls had five with at least two.
3. Bench advantage
The Knicks’ bench was one reason for the team’s improvement since Woodson took over as coach. But on Tuesday night, they struggled. J.R. Smith had 14 points off the bench, but the reserves had just 18 total. Steve Novak (0-of-3 from 3-point range) and Bill Walker each had two points. The Bulls’ bench had 33 points, including 14 from Kyle Korver, seven from John Lucas and six from Ronnie Brewer.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.