New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 20 points to lead
the New York Knicks to a 100-89 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
New York was officially eliminated from playoff contention Saturday when
Atlanta clinched the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 98-85 win
"We didn't get it done and being the coach, I just apologize to the fans
because they paid their hard-earned money to come see us play and we didn't
come into this season expecting this," Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said.
Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith each netted 17 points for the Knicks, who have
won five of their last seven.
It's a case of too little, too late for New York, while Chicago remains in the
hunt for the East's third spot. With the loss, Chicago falls into a tie for
the No. 3 seed with Toronto.
Chicago hosts Orlando on Monday and travels to Charlotte on Wednesday to wrap
up its season. Toronto, meanwhile, hosts Milwaukee on Monday and will visit
New York on Wednesday.
The Raptors own the tiebreaker because they are a division champion.
Jimmy Butler paced Chicago with 17 points, while Joakim Noah nearly registered
another triple-double. Noah finished with 13 points, 17 rebounds and nine
assists in the setback, which snapped a seven-game winning streak.
"We let a big game slip tonight. It was probably the biggest game of the
season," Noah said.
Chicago led 22-19 after the first quarter, with the Bulls holding a lead as
many as four.
Chicago was in front by three, 39-36, with 3:11 remaining in the second and it
didn't score the rest of the half.
Iman Shumpert slammed one home to jumpstart a 9-0 quarter-ending run and help
the Knicks to a 45-39 lead at the break.
Smith hit three straight 3-pointers as part of a 12-2 run early in the third
to give the Knicks a 60-46 advantage. New York led by as many as 17 in the
period and brought a 77-64 advantage into the fourth.
The Bulls trailed by 17 again in the fourth when D.J. Augustin hit three free
throws and followed with a 3-pointer to cap an 8-0 run and cut the deficit to
Taj Gibson's three-point play made it a six-point game, 93-87, with just under
four minutes left in the game. That's as close as the visitors would get as
Hardaway Jr. drained two pairs of free throws around a Butler foul shot to
push the spread back to nine with 49.6 seconds left.
Noah has four triple-doubles this season, one shy for most in the league.
Lance Stephenson of Indiana had his fifth triple-double of the season on
Sunday ... New York shot 37-for-81 (45.7 percent) from the field and
held the defensive-minded Bulls to 29-of-74 (39.2 percent) attempts from the
floor ... There were 11 lead changes and eight ties ... The Knicks scored 21
points off of 16 Chicago turnovers.