CHICAGO - The Knicks looked as if they had the Bulls beaten, finally, after losing all four games to them last season. But Derrick Rose seized the moment and stole the game from the Knicks.
Playing his first regular-season game at the United Center since tearing his left ACL in April 2012, Rose had extra lift in his legs late and hit the winning shot with 5.7 seconds left to give the Bulls an 82-81 win Thursday night.
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The Knicks erased a 13-point third-quarter deficit and a 10-point hole in the fourth to take a one-point lead with 10.8 seconds left. But out of a timeout, Rose hit an 11-foot, one-handed runner from the right baseline over Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.
"I was right there,'' Chandler said. "He just made a big-time play. I don't know if he saw the basket, to be honest with you. I thought I could get a hand on it. He just got it over my hand.''
"Tyson jumped as high as he could get to try and get that block,'' Carmelo Anthony said. "He made a great shot. It was a prayer, but he made it.''
On the Knicks' final possession, Anthony pulled up on Luol Deng but his long jumper was off, and Chandler couldn't convert the tip.
"I got the look that I wanted,'' Anthony said. "It just didn't go in.''
Anthony led the Knicks with 22 points but shot only 8-for-24 from the field, including 2-for-7 in the fourth. Felton added 13 points and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., who played the entire fourth quarter, had 10.
Chandler, who played big in the opening-night win over the Bucks on Wednesday, had another strong game. He had 19 rebounds, seven points and four blocks but missed a critical free throw in the closing seconds.
With the score tied at 80, Anthony missed a jumper, but Joakim Noah was called for a loose-ball foul on Chandler. He missed the first free throw but hit the second to give the Knicks the one-point lead.
"They both felt good,'' Chandler said. "They both kind of hit the same way. One rolled in and rolled out. It was just unfortunate that it put them in the situation to come back and win.''
Rose, who had a sore neck coming into the game, wasn't sharp. He had 18 points but shot only 7-for-23 and committed two turnovers in the last 1:28.
The Knicks played strong defense on Rose throughout the fourth quarter and on that last play, but he found a way to get the shot off and make it.
"The play he made, I haven't seen too many players running baseline, throwing a 15-foot runner up over a 7-footer,'' Mike Woodson said.
"It looks like he got faster,'' Anthony said. "I don't know what kind of workouts he's been doing, but he got faster and more explosive out there.''