WHAT IT MEANS: Carmelo Anthony put on his best performance as a Knick, scoring a game-high 43 points, including two clutch 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter and in overtime, to lead his team over the NBA’s overall top seed, the Bulls (43-14), who saw the return of Derrick Rose.
The Knicks improved to 29-27, holding on to the eighth seed. But if the Philadelphia 76ers lose later today against the Boston Celtics, the Knicks would move up the seventh spot.
TURNING POINT: The Knicks had a commanding first-quarter lead, 31-19, even leading at one point 27-8, but the Bulls fought back, winning the next three quarters. A big reason was D-Rose, who only scored two points in the opening period, but 27 the rest of the game. He hit a big 3-pointer to tie the game at 67-67, the first since 0-0, and went on to make two more in the fourth quarter, to build a bigger lead. But after the Bulls missed four straight free throws, Anthony made them pay with a 3-pointer with 11.2 left in the final period to tie the game at 91-91 to send it into overtime. And then a 3-pointer from about that same exact spot, on the right wing, beat the Bulls.
THE GOOD: 1. Carmelo Anthony shined bright in a big game. In his past six contests, as the Knicks have gone 4-2, Melo has regained his shooting touch, especially right out of the gate, as he’s averaged 27.7 points per game. Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t any different in the first quarter. Melo came out firing and aggressive, scoring 12 points on a perfect 5-for-5 from the field (2-for-2 from downtown). He didn’t let up, as he finished with a game-high 43 points