Written by William Lee
Sunday night the New York Knicks played spoiler role to the Chicago Bulls, who unlike the Knicks actually have something to play for besides pride. New York had nothing to play for anymore because the Atlanta Hawks clinched a Playoffs spot by defeating the Miami Heat (of course that happens…) the previous night. The Bulls though had something to play for, looking to secure their third seed in the Playoffs, but was pushed down due to a 100-89 defeat to New York.
New York held on to win despite Carmelo Anthony not playing in the fourth quarter, after he picked up his fourth foul late in the third quarter. Anthony walked off the court arguing the call and was called for a technical foul. Anthony finished the game with 17 points, after starting off the game strong, scoring the first three baskets for the Knicks, finishing with nine points in the first quarter. His scoring was key to staying in a very ugly game, where Anthony converted on four field goals, the same amount as the rest of his teammates. The rest of the team went 4/14 in the opening quarter.
New York finished off the first half on a strong note, where an Anthony steal lead to Iman Shumpert facial on Joakim Noah, which ignited a 9-0 run, giving the Knicks a 45-39 half time lead. Just as Noah was in the middle of that highlight play, Noah was in the middle of everything Chicago Bulls, almost collecting a triple double with 13 points, 17 rebounds, and 9 assists.
The game would be broke open when J.R. Smith hit three straight threes to start the third quarter, giving New York a double digit lead 57-46. Smith finished the game connecting on five threes, finishing the game with 17 points.
Chicago desperately clawed back into the game, cutting a deficit as large as seventeen to as much as six, on a 5-0 mini run to get within 93-87 with 3:51 remaining in the game. Tim Hardaway Jr. though would knock down all his free throws, scoring seven points in the final three minutes, including a three at the end for final insult. Hardaway Jr. finished the game with 20 points.
New York will continue to play the spoiler role, with the last two games against the Playoff bound Brooklyn Nets, and Toronto Raptors who are still juggling for their seeding.