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Derrick Rose returns, but Carmelo Anthony buries the Bulls

Apr 8, 2012, 5:21 PM EST

BESTPIX Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks Getty Images

Derrick Rose made his return to the Bulls starting lineup on Sunday after missing the last 12 games with a groin injury. The reigning MVP started slowly, exploded in the third quarter and was hit-or-miss from then on, finishing with 29 points, four assists, and eight turnovers in 39 minutes of action.

Rose was the story going in, but once the game got started, the afternoon belonged to Carmelo Anthony, who scored a season-high 43 points and drained two clutch three-pointers that propelled the Knicks to a 100-99 overtime win over a Bulls team that owns the league’s best record.

Rose clearly had some rust to shake off, and went 1-of-6 from the field for seven points, one assist, and five turnovers as the Knicks got off to a fast start, leading by as many as 21 points in the first quarter. Anthony had 22 points by halftime, and looked very comfortable getting each and every one of them.

In the third quarter, however, Rose seemed to find his stride. And the Bulls did what’s made them successful all season long: they made halftime adjustments and locked down defensively to get themselves back in the game. Rose exploded for 14 points in the third, while the Bulls’ team defense held the Knicks to just 30.4 percent shooting.

Chicago led by three after three, and put two and three defenders in front of Anthony for most of the fourth quarter, which forced the Knicks into swinging the ball and hoisting long three-pointers or contested jump-shots out on the perimeter. J.R. Smith was the one who got most of the open looks, but he couldn’t find his range, finishing just 1-of-6 in the period and a dreadful 6-of-22 for the game.

The Bulls seemed to have everything under control, and led by 10 points with just under 3:30 to play in regulation. But Rose, partly due to rust and fatigue, and partly due to some excellent defense from Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert, forced the issue down the stretch, but missed open shots and chances at the rim. Two of Rose’s turnovers came as the Knicks closed the period with a 10-0 run, capped by Anthony’s three that sent it to overtime.

But that was nothing compared to the game-winner Carmelo hit, a cold-blooded three that came after a furious Knicks possession in which they simply out-hustled a Bulls team that has built its reputation on doing exactly that. New York’s final possession began with 43 seconds left in overtime, but after multiple offensive rebounds and four shot attempts, it didn’t end until Anthony’s game-winning three went down with 8.2 seconds remaining.

Rose took the final shot attempt, and had a decent look at a runner of about seven feet, but it wasn’t to be.

This was Anthony’s game, and he played it efficiently and with a superstar swagger that very few of the game’s best players are able to display. Carmelo seems to play best when he has the spotlight to himself; this performance came with Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin both still out due to injury. On this afternoon, he was able to take advantage of it.

  1. bils293 - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    No mention of the fact that d rose missed 2 free throws in the final seconds where either one could have made it a 2 possession game and most likely got them the W? If that was lebron there would have already been 4 articles ripping him for that

    • gmsingh - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      Well, they disrespected him in a different way–instead of the Bulls being in the driver’s seat and losing the game, we get “Carmelo buries the Bulls”.

  2. LilTmac2003 - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I’ll give respect when respect is due…Carmelo hit some elite clutch shots.

    But I wouldn’t worry too much if I were the Bulls.

    – They had probably the worst start to a 1st quarter in the Thibs era.
    – At one point in 1st, they were down by 21.
    – Obviously, Rose was out of rhythm to begin the game after missing 12 games.
    – This was only the 11th time this season Rose.Hamilton.Deng.Boozer.Noah play together. (9-2 record)
    – Rose picked up the slack, but was clearly too fatigued come 4th and OT.
    – They gave up a 10pt lead w/ 3 left in the 4th. That doesn’t happen to often, so I don’t think it’ll happen again.

    The only thing that was a problem was their free throws. Thibs needs to dedicate an entire practice on free throw shooting…other than that, it was a tough loss, but not a season ending look at how the Bulls play.

    To be down by 21 in the 1st, and to be up by 3 by the end of the third on the road is a solid effort. They didn’t close out this time, but I’m almost certain they will the next.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      Whatever you need to sleep well tonight. The Knicks blew that lead because of awful point guard play all game; not because the Bulls are “gritty” or anything related to Rose (other than getting ref help in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, where he lived at the line, despite no one even touching him on a couple of those calls).

      Melo missed a couple of FTs that could have broken our backs, and Jeffries missed two huge ones also.

      STOP MAKING EXCUSES.

      • deiong - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

        well the bulls played horrible, rose played horrible, and they still almost won.. is that a mark of a number one caliber team (as every team has a bad night), or is it that NY is that bad?

      • gmen4life33 - Apr 8, 2012 at 11:25 PM

        goes both ways deiong.

        Knicks played horrible too in some aspects. JR Smith 5-22, no offense except iso for Melo, missed FTs, missed lay ups, 2 starters out, AND STILL beat the Bulls. Is that mark of a contender (11-3 team under Woodson) or is it that CHI is that bad?

        Your logic works both ways..

      • deiong - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        “goes both ways deiong.

        Knicks played horrible too in some aspects. JR Smith 5-22, no offense except iso for Melo, missed FTs, missed lay ups, 2 starters out, AND STILL beat the Bulls. Is that mark of a contender (11-3 team under Woodson) or is it that CHI is that bad?

        Your logic works both ways..

        i thought about that before the initial post but then thought, i cant see how it works both ways since chicago still has the best record in the nba…. but who knows…

  3. norcal031 - Apr 8, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    The same Rose who missed free throws to win in the 08 championship??

  4. glink123 - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    …yeah. the same Rose who played his first game in 35 days. on the road. on national TV. down by 21 in the first six minutes of the game. and he played 40 f-cking minutes. pretty sure LeBron’s vagina would’ve been cramping up after the first quarter if he’d missed 35 days and had to play 40 minutes in his first game back. He might even miss a couple of free throws.

    • borderline1988 - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      “He might even miss a couple of free throws”

      Rose misses pressure FTs whether he’s coming back from an injury or not…

  5. bils293 - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Hahaha cry some more. Rose is overrated.

    • hawksandsawx - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:29 PM

      Who would you say is properly rated? Dude won a near unanimous MVP

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      ^^ Any takers on whether the thumbs-down count passes this guy’s IQ?

      Oh, wait… it already did.

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    That wasn’t RUST. Shump got in his ass. And will do so all series if we play them in the first round. The kid is legit.

    Rose is a volume scorer. Twice as many turnovers (Shump forced SIX of them) than assists, shot a woeful 8-26. He was doing that every third game even before he got hurt. Don’t give me that.

    And he’s still a choke artist.

  7. asublimeday - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    This is the best thing that couldve happened to the bulls. They are going to embarrass these wannabes Tuesday and in any playoff contests they may have.

  8. asublimeday - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    …yeah. the same Rose who played his first game in 35 days. on the road. on national TV. down by 21 in the first six minutes of the game. and he played 40 f-cking minutes. pretty sure LeBron’s vagina would’ve been cramping up after the first quarter if he’d missed 35 days and had to play 40 minutes in his first game back. He might even miss a couple of free throws.
    ————-

    Comment of the year.

  9. jumbossportsblog - Apr 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog.

  10. allball23 - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    The bulls should scared to play the knicks in the playoffs very dangerous team. They are playing D under woodson Melo can put up numbers and with STAT back they have another big scorer. shumpert can slow rose down a bit

  11. 773creyes - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    Rose was rusty as hell..he doesn’t even take 27 shots anymore when he’s healthy. The bulls were out of sync n rose was forcing it. He does have a Lil problem wit his late game free throws (he’s not a pure shooter) but shumpert will get schooled by a game shape injury free rose. Laughin at the guy who says rose is over rated. One of the best players in the league and deservingly so

  12. spaceghost13 - Apr 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    In a playoff type contest between the Knicks and Bulls, Chicago had many opportunities to close this one out over a team that everyone dogs saying that NY can never win anything with Melo on the team. But the cold hard fact remains that with Melo on the team the Knicks won. The Knicks never rolled over and died, and they instead fought back and earned a victory. This Knicks team has defenders with Shumpert and Chandler and has role players with Novak and Jeffries. This team forced O.T. and Melo stepped up big with clutch shots. Chicago will be out for blood on Tuesday and may get a romp win over the Knicks, but one thing is for sure…the Knicks have no quit in them. Keep hating while the Knicks just keep gelling & winning.

  13. iowahbr - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Bulls fans, as usual, will hate this comment but yesterday’s loss to the Knicks was just more of the same old/same old. At the end it was Rose or die and it was a reminder of the play-offs last year against the Heat. Rose got them the 4th quarter and OT leads but then there was no one else to count on for a point. Thibs may be a great defensive coach but either the Celtics or the Heat will have a 4th quarter double team for the Rose pick and roll and count on Boozer to pull the great disappearing act with his shot. RIP should stand for Rest In Peace.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      And how do you account for all those wins in his absence, exactly?

      Also, if you saw the last few games before he went down, they actually were handling the double-teaming of Rose much better.

      • iowahbr - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:24 PM

        I never siad that the Bulls aren’t a good team; their workman like ways will produce a great number of wins; The issue is how the Bulls get past a team in the play-offs like either the Heat or the Thunder when those teams push the do button on defense and folks like James or Durant start making tought shots.

  14. nygrwy - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    lolz @ people making excuses for roses ft

    Guy hits a double clutch hanging three pointer like nothing, and then another getting hit by shumpert but cannot make 2 ft

    Knicks and Bulls do have on thing in common though. 2 OVERPAID PF’s

  15. chitownbulls - Apr 9, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Oh please stop with the refs bailed the Bulls out and allowed them to get back in the game narrative. The Knicks led 27-6 in the 1st quarter. You let a team come back from that and don’t keep your foot on the gas you deserve to lose. This is one Bulls fan that is SO not worried about Melo and NY…

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