Knicks fall to Bulls in overtime; winning streak ends at 13
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CHICAGO -- Carmelo Anthony had the ball in his hands and a chance to extend the Knicks' longest winning streak in 19 years to 14 games. He hasn't missed many shots lately, but his jumper from the left of the circle didn't fall.
The Knicks still had a chance in overtime, but they had nothing left. Their legs were weary, their shots weren't dropping, and former Knick Nate Robinson and the Bulls kept attacking and putting forth more energy.
In the end, the Knicks squandered a 15-point third-quarter lead and their winning streak ended at 13 games with a 118-111 overtime loss at the United Center. They dropped all four of their games against Chicago.
"I saw that I had a clear shot to the rim," Anthony said. "I really thought the ball was going in, to be honest with you. I wasn't really trying to go overtime, due to the fact that we were limited."
The Knicks (51-27) seemed too proud of what they have accomplished to let this loss bother them -- or maybe they were too tired to be disappointed.
They were without Tyson Chandler (bulging disc in his neck) and Kenyon Martin (sprained left ankle). They had only nine available bodies -- only eight played -- and they expended so much energy in this physically taxing game between two teams that could meet each other in the first round. Now you wonder if the Knicks will be able to avoid their first losing skid in nearly a month Friday night when they play in Cleveland.
Raymond Felton scored 19 points in 49 minutes and hurt his right knee in overtime. He finished the game but was limping noticeably in the locker room afterward. Felton said it's sprained but that he'll try to play tonight.
Anthony finished with 36 points and 19 rebounds in 45 minutes but shot 13-for-34 from the field and missed all four of his three-pointers. He broke Bernard King's franchise record by scoring at least 35 points in six straight games. J.R. Smith had 28 points and 14 rebounds in 42:28.
The Bulls didn't have Derrick Rose (ACL), Joakim Noah (plantar fasciatis) and Taj Gibson (sprained MCL). But like the Knicks, they have survived and thrived without key players. They clearly aren't intimidated by facing a team with a long winning streak, having ended the Heat's streak at 27.
Robinson scored 35 points and celebrated after nearly every one. He outscored the Knicks 8-6 in OT. "In that overtime, I thought we just gassed out," Anthony said. "We ran out of gas in overtime."
The Knicks are two games ahead of Indiana for the second seed in the East. Their magic number to clinch the No. 2 spot -- which would give them home-court advantage for at least the first two rounds -- remains at three with four to go. The Knicks host the Pacers Sunday.
The game featured four technical fouls and some jawing between Anthony and Robinson and Anthony and Jimmy Butler (22 points, 14 rebounds).
The Knicks went ahead 23-6 in the first quarter and 79-64 in the third but fell behind 99-90 with 5:42 left in regulation. They tied it at 105 on Anthony's two free throws with 14.5 seconds left.
Anthony then forced Luol Deng into a tough shot that he missed with 1.5 seconds to go, but Anthony couldn't convert.
Robinson began the overtime scoring with a three-point play and the Bulls never trailed again. The Knicks shot 3-for-11 in OT and 11-for-42 in the last 21:51.
"It's over with," Mike Woodson said of the streak. "You can't win them all. It'd have been nice to, Melo knocks down that shot, we walk out of here with a win. But it didn't happen and we got to rebound against Cleveland."
Anthony lifted his average to an NBA-leading 28.7 points per game. Kevin Durant had 31 points in the Thunder's 116-97 win over the Warriors and is at 28.3.
The Knicks made 10 three-pointers, establishing an NBA record for threes in a season. They have 847, surpassing the 2009-10 Magic, which made 841.