Nate Robinson Leads Bulls Past Knicks In OT

The Chicago Bulls topped the New York Knicks 118-111 in overtime Thursday night to end the Knicks’ winning streak at 13 games. Nate Robinson led the way for the Bulls and scored a season-high 35 points off the bench.

The Bulls stopped the red-hot Knicks in their tracks and erased a five-point halftime deficit to force overtime in the final minutes of second half. Carmelo Anthony had a chance to put away the Bulls in the final seconds but missed a jumper at the end of regulation.

Nate Robinson took advantage and scored eight of the Bulls’ 13 overtime points to complete the comeback against the Knicks. The Bulls have now ended two noteworthy streaks this season as they ruined the Miami Heat’s historical 27-game win streak in March.

Carmelo Anthony had been lights out during the Knicks’ win streak but struggled from the floor Thursday and only made 13-of-34 shots. Anthony still managed to finish with 36 points and a whopping 19 rebounds as the Knicks are now just two games ahead of the Indiana Pacers for second in the Eastern Conference.

J.R. Smith finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds off the bench for the Knicks while Raymond Felton added 19 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Chris Copeland was the only other Knicks’ player in double-figures as he finished with 14 points and five rebounds.

Outside of Robinson’s big night, Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler both finished with double-doubles while Richard Hamilton scored 14 points. Luol Deng added 16 points in the win including a key three-pointer in overtime.

The Bulls’ win ends a two-game losing streak and keeps Chicago ahead of the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks currently trail the Bulls by half a game in the East.

The Bulls next take the floor Friday in a match-up with the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors beat the Bulls 101-98 on Tuesday at the United Center.

Nate Robinson’s play has picked up at the right time as Derrick Rose has yet to return from injury this season and could even miss the playoffs. Robinson’s play down the stretch has gone a long way for the Bulls, as point guard Kirk Hinrich has also missed a lot of time due to injury in 2013.

Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau is still optimistic his team can contend in the upcoming NBA playoffs with or without Rose, though his presence in the lineup would do wonders for their offense. Nevertheless, the Bulls defense has been superb all-year long as they have steadily kept pace with the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

Can the Chicago Bulls compete in the playoffs without Derrick Rose? Will Rose be able to make an impact in the playoffs if he does return after sitting out the entire regular season?

[Image via Shinya Suzuki]