Bulls Vs. Knicks: Carmelo Anthony Scores 43, Sinks Clutch Shots To Stifle Chicago Comeback

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks celebrates his game winning three pointer against as Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls looks on at Madison Square Garden on April 8, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony had 43 points in the Knicks' win over the Bulls, six of which came from big, big threes to send the game into overtime, then win it.

The Chicago Bulls sit atop the Eastern Conference while the New York Knicks are fighting tooth and nail just to stay in the playoff race, but these potential first round opponents looked pretty evenly matched in a wild Sunday afternoon game. The Knicks took a huge lead in the early going, only to watch Chicago's ever-tightening defense dismantle it over the latter three quarters. But in the end, Carmelo Anthony put the flourish on a brilliant afternoon with two massive shots -- one in regulation and one in overtime -- to win the game for New York, 100-99.

The Bulls had Derrick Rose back in the lineup for the first time since mid-March and, at the outset, looked more than a little out of sync. New York's defense came out looking as rowdy and meddlesome as it's ever been, and harangued the Bulls into turnovers and bad outside shots nearly ever time down. The Knicks turned those stops into transition buckets and solid looks for Carmelo Anthony, who opened the game 5-5 from the field. New York's intensity on both ends built them a 27-6 lead, but once the benches shuffled onto the floor, the Bulls began to chip away.

Chicago cut the deficit to 12 at the end of the first quarter and eight at halftime, then ran wild in the third quarter. Rose, quieted by the defense of Iman Shumpert in the first half, finally started to erupt. His drives started to bear fruit, and so did some fairly ridiculous pulls from downtown. By the late fourth quarter, Rose and the Bulls had stormed into the lead. They went up by as much as 10 points with just under four minutes remaining, and appeared to have the game in hand.

That's when Anthony, who'd been pretty much all New York had going offensively since the first quarter, took over. After J.R. Smith redeemed himself for an awful shooting performance with a big three-pointer, Anthony hit consecutive layups, then drilled an audacious game-tying three in Taj Gibson's face. Rose air-balled his game-winning attempt on the next possession, and the game went into overtime. Of course, all of this could have been avoided if the Bulls just hit their free throws-- Rose and Luol Deng went 0-4 in the final minute to allow New York's comeback.

And OT went pretty much the same way. The Bulls went ahead by four on a Rose floater with just under three minutes remaining, then the Knicks took over. Anthony's driving lay-in cut it to two, Smith stripped Rose on the next play, then the Knicks came the other way and ran off one of the night's more epic possessions. Anthony missed a succession of lay-ups inside, then, thanks to the fine offensive rebounding of Tyson Chandler, the Knicks got another look -- a Smith three -- then ANOTHER look in the hands of Anthony. This time, Anthony squared up from about the same spot he'd pulled from in regulation and drilled a three over Deng, reaching 43 points on the night and putting New York ahead for good in the closing seconds.

With the loss and a Miami win, Chicago lost a bit of padding on their first-place seeding in the Eastern Conference. They now sit just two games above the Heat. New York's win, combined with a Philadelphia loss, lifted them to the 7th in the East, if only momentarily.

Check out Posting and Toasting for more on the Knicks, then head over to Blog-a-Bull for more Chicago coverage.

For all of Sunday's NBA box scores, check out SI.com's NBA scoreboard.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.