Knicked up: Rose returns, but Bulls fall 100-99 in New York

April 08, 2012|RedEye

A dozen Rose-less games ended for the Bulls on Sunday when their MVP returned to the lineup in New York.

But Derrick and the dominoes couldn't pull out a win as they fell—when their free throws wouldn't—to the Knicks in overtime, 100-99.

The loss, while hard to swallow, could have been much worse. To say the Bull started slowly would be an understatement. The Knicks raced out to a 20-4 lead before Rose even scored a point, then it ballooned to 27-6 before the Bulls began a slow comeback.

"We have to play with more urgency," Rose said.

And they have to make their free throws too.

With the Bulls leading 91-88 with 48 seconds left in regulation, Luol Deng and Rose combined to miss four straight free throws that could have put the game away. Instead, Carmelo Anthony scored five straight points, including a long, game-tying 3-pointer with 11 seconds left.

Rose had a chance to miss the game, but he threw up an airball as time expired.

In overtime, the Bulls jumped out to a 99-95 lead with 2:51 to play but never managed to score again.

Rose finished with 29 points to lead the Bulls and played 38 minutes in his return. This after coach Tom Thibodeau said his minutes would likely be limited.

"I talked to (trainer) Fred (Tedeschi) during the game and he said he was fine," Thibodeau said. "He said he felt great afterward."

Said Rose: "I told them if we needed to win the game, I wanted to be in there."

The Bulls might need to win a lot more games against the Knicks. If the playoffs seeding ends as it stands now, the Bulls and Knicks would face off in the first round.

"They're a good team where they fight throughout the whole game," Rose said of the possible matchup. "If we do play them, it will be a fun series." TRIBUNE CONTRIBUTED.

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