The Knicks lost again (104-99) on Mon. March 12, despite the best efforts of Anthony Melo Carmelo and Amare Stoudemire, while Jeremy Lin played one of his weakest games yet, causing New York fans to ask: is the Linsanity over? The Knicks are now tied for the last spot in the playoffs for the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls played a strong offensive game to win their tenth game out of the last 11. Chicago was led by Derrick Rose, who scored 32 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Taj Gibson had 15 points and 13 rebounds (the Bulls out-rebounded NY 56-38). Carlo Boozer scored 15 points. Joakim Noah scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Rookie player Kimmy Butler scored eight points in just 29 minutes on the court, making several exciting plays to energize the Chicago crowd. The Bulls win is even more impressive considering that they were missing three players, including starters Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton.
Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and Amare Stoudemire added another 20, but the two starters only scored seven collectively in the fourth quarter while the Bulls ran away with the game. Jeremy Lin managed just 15 points and 8 assists, and had little success blocking Rose on defense. Jared Jeffries missed the game because of a sore knee, though Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni claims Jeffries will return by Wednesday's game against Portland. Since Melo's return the Knicks have lost eight of 10 games.
At the end of the first half the Knicks led 50-48 in a high adrenaline first two quarters that included 32 free throw shots and a technical foul for each coach. In the third quarter Rose went on a 12-2 run, including a floating crossover that left Lin looking nothing like the sports hero he was just a few weeks ago. The Knicks responded with a run of their own (11-5), all of which came from points by Stoudemire and Anthony. Starting in the final quarter the Bulls had a one point lead, which they quickly increased. With 49.8 seconds to go Melo hit a three, cutting the Bull's lead to just four points, but NY was unable to turn the game around.
@KFC of Barstoolsports.com tweeted a correct prediction of how the game would develop at halftime: Another solid 1st half from the Knicks. Lets see if Dantoni does absolutely nothing at half time and the Knicks get smoked in the 3rd
Afterwords he blamed the team's loss on lazy play, tweeting, Can you imagine how different this game would have been if the Knicks showed any effort rebounding the ball?