The Knicks needed a hero to save them from collapse versus the Bulls and Carmelo Anthony was there -- twice. Anthony hit a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to send the game to overtime and then buried the game-winner in the extra frame, giving New York a 100-99 win against East-leading Chicago and preserving their tenuous hold on the conference's eighth and final playoff spot.
On the Knicks' final possession, Anthony went for an isolation and drilled a three-pointer with Loul Deng all over him. Watch Carmelo direct the Knicks to spread the floor, size up the coverage and then pull up from behind the arc. Stone. Cold.
Anthony finished with 43 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He was the only Knick to score more than 15 points. It was exactly why the Knicks traded for Anthony and exactly what they need from him with Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin sidelined.
It only took Derrick Rose one half to regain his form in his return to the lineup, but it's a pair of late missed free throws that could have iced the game that will stand out more than Rose's 29 points.
With the win, the Knicks improve to 29-27 and hold a one-game lead over the Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot. They're also just half a game back of the Sixers for the 7th spot. But if New York stays at No. 8, we would see a rematch of this game as a first-round playoff series.
After he hit the three, Melo shouted, "This is my house!" If the current standings hold, playoff games at The Garden should be quite a good show. (And Ben Stiller will be there, loving it ...)