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Bulls end Knicks’ win streak behind inspired play of Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler

Apr 12, 2013, 12:01 AM EDT

On Dec. 18, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported the Knicks were considering waiving Nate Robinson. That same day, Butler scored six points to raise his season scoring average.

Tonight, Robinson and Butler led the hard-playing, hard-charging, hard-celebrating Bulls to a 118-111 overtime win over the Knicks, whose 13-game win streak ended the same place the Heat’s 27-game win streak did: Chicago. The Bulls (43-35) now have sole possession of the No. 5 seed over the Hawks (43-36) thanks to their one-time unlikely heroes.

Robinson scored 35 points in 33 minutes, his highest-scoring game since he played for the Knicks three years ago. His outside shot was impressive. His drives to the basket were fruitful. And his swagger was out of this world:

Butler played all 48 minutes against the Raptors on Tuesday, and then he played even more tonight (50 minutes). He finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds and added three steals and three blocks in excellent of Carmelo Anthony.

Melo scored more than 35 points for the sixth straight game, but he needed 34 shots, more than he’s taken in any other game during the streak. The problem wasn’t just efficiency for the Knicks. It was also fatigue.

They took 104 shots tonight, their most since Mike Mike D’Antoni’s first season, and by the time regulation ended, they seemed done.

After the Knicks turned the ball over to begin overtime, they missed from 21, 26, 26, 8 and 26 feet. Between, they shot twice near the hoop, but those attempts were as likely to end in blocks as baskets. It looked like the Bulls had worn down the Knicks will to find good shots.

The narrative says the Bulls are now the streak stoppers, and they did end the Heat’s win streak. But the Clippers’ 17-game and Nuggets’ 15-game streaks were long than the Knicks’ this season, and neither was snapped by Chicago. The real story is that, even in games the opponent wants to win badly, the Bulls play harder.

That won’t matter quite as much when the playoffs begin and every team plays closer to 100 percent intensity, but on two highly watched nights this season, Chicago was the perfect foil to two of the NBA’s hottest teams.

  1. money2long - Apr 12, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    i bet lakers wouldn’t mind a player like nate on their bench.
    also, i think nate has played his way to a good contract next time around.
    there were only two games on the docket tonight, im sure some team officials caught a glimpse of that game and nate has gained some brownies points if you will.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:32 AM

      Nate is bush league and still streaky. Felton makes everyone look great, so don’t get ahead of yourself.

      • itsthemelman82 - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

        Nate is bush league because he likes to have fun? I know Knicks fan aren’t making excuses about injuries… Noah, Gibson, Rose… Nuff said! #stateofNate

      • badintent - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:44 AM

        No, Nate is bush because he is all about Nate, that’s why quality organizations like both the Knicks and Celtics shipped his ass out. He’s a future Harlem Globetrotter or team mate of Starbury(same head problem). Bulls will draft a real PG to replace him.

      • gmsingh - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:09 AM

        Felton should’ve been thrown out of the game when he launched his shoulder into Nate’s head in the fourth qtr.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      you have to tip your cap to the Bulls they won the game, Knicks don’t like to bang and the Bulls bang, and that’s that!
      as a Knickerbocker fan I DO NOT like having to face the Bulls but I do hope if it happens we will
      have all our BIGS ready and they come ready to bang.

  2. saint1997 - Apr 12, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Wow great game. Knicks were tired but shouldn’t take anything from the Bulls tough play. Jimmy Butler is raising questions as to whether the Bulls should now trade Luol Deng at a high value he is now

    • pudgalvin - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      Interesting point about Deng. I think most Bulls fans want to see Butler at the 2 with Rose and Deng, but I’m not sure managment is in complete agreement. Deng is a touch overpaid, but he’s also Thibs heart and soul of the team. That’s going to be an interesting off season conversation for the Bulls.

    • lmoneyfresh - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Having Butler at the 2 and Deng at the 3 provides one hell of a defensive 1-2 punch. I’d like to see the bulls keep Deng. You’re right that he’s a bit pricy right now, but he just does so much.

  3. 8nflfan7 - Apr 12, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Dang they just like ending teams streaks hahah 1st heat. 2nd knicks lmao….

    • pudgalvin - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:21 AM

      And they should have stopped the Nuggets streak too if not for some questionable officiating.

      • broncobeta - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        And they should have stopped the Nuggets streak too if not for some <strike<questionable officiating horrible defense and a stupid goal tend by Noah.

        I fixed it for you, you baby.

      • pudgalvin - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        How are the Nuggets playoff prospects looking these days?

      • pudgalvin - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        Oh and let me fix your comment:

        And they should have stopped the Nuggets streak too if not for some <strike<questionable officiating <strike<horrible defense and a stupid goal tend by Noah a missed offensive basket interference call on the Nuggets and the refs reviewing a non-reviewable play taking away the game winning bucket.

  4. stoudemelo - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Beating the Heat at full strength was impressive.

    Beating the Knicks when their 2nd string SF was starting at Center not as much.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:33 AM

      yeah, you can’t tell them and Knicks haters that. We had COPE starting at center and his backup at center was NOVAK. Come on, man.

      • pantsfreezone - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        Maybe your GM shouldn’t have brought in a bunch of senior citizens as free agents.

        And people don’t hate the Knicks, they just don’t believe in them. For good reason.

    • gmsingh - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:12 AM

      Hey stoudemelo–perhaps you should mention, then, the Bulls beating the Knicks four out of four this season without D. Rose in any of those games.

      • pudgalvin - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:27 AM

        Damn, beat me to it. Always nice sweeping the knicks.

      • gmsingh - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:57 AM

        Unless you’re a Knicks fan–and who would want to be that?

    • chitownmatt - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      I guess you didnt notice that the Bulls played most of the game with 4 guards and a power foward in the center?

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    LMAO naturally. At no point was there a story this quickly during the streak, as SOON as they lose, there’s a story up within an hour LMAO.

    • lmoneyfresh - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Poor knick fans need to be coddled apparently.

    • gmsingh - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      Don’t LMAO–you’ll have no place to keep your brain.

  6. rickyspanish - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Mr. Wright 212

    Here comes the obligatory pissing and moaning. You entertain me, like a clown.

  7. asublimeday - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:04 AM

    yeah, you can’t tell them and Knicks haters that. We had COPE starting at center and his backup at center was NOVAK. Come on, man.

    Yeah cuz the bulls don’t have injuries.

    You’re a jester man. Tell us more jokes

  8. dangernearing - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    Wow, this Ms.Wrong character seems butt hurt. Kicking & screaming about ONE game. If you wanna blame someone look no further then Melo. Something like 36 shots on 35points, really?!?! Direct your negative energy at that.

  9. Gordon - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Bulls own the Knicks this season. What are the excuses for beating them every other time this year?

    • cantonbound13 - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      I’m not making excuses. The Bulls bring it every night no matter who’s on the floor. I have nothing but respect for that team. To me they play the best defense in the league. I wouldn’t want to see them in the playoffs.

  10. vilelabyrinth - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    if only the regular season meant anything would this “sweep” be relevant..playoffs are where it matters, girlfriends.

    • pudgalvin - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:19 AM

      Indeed. Melo and the Knicks have a long, rich history of playoff success.

      • philtration - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        Not to mention that the Bulls have owned the Knicks in the post season too.

      • vilelabyrinth - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        so do these chicago bulls? not sure how you’re getting me here…

  11. pudgalvin - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Couple things. One is it’s hard to take the Knicks seriously as a contender with games like last nights. I know they were missing their muscle, but Chandler and Martin aren’t exactly adding a low post game to their offense. Their style plays right in to what good defensive teams like to do, especially the Bulls and the Pacers. I actually think if the Knicks were in the west they’d have a better shot at getting to the Finals than they do in the East.

    Two, Jimmy Butler for most improved player. He plays about 45 minutes a night, has been shooting something like 42% from 3 since the all star break, and he’s a lock down defender. So far this year he’s gone toe to toe with Wade, Kobe, Gay, Melo and basically shut them down. He’s a pleasure to watch.

    Three, Joey Crawford is the worst.

  12. bux1022 - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    And that reason is? We beat the best the west has to offer! 3-1 against the champs. The bulls are a good team. But they are the 5th seed for a reason. Knicks 50+ wins this season, clinch the Atlantic, and 2nd seed locked. Keep hating scrubs!

    • lmoneyfresh - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Umm, the Bulls are the 5 seed because half of their team has been injured for an extended period of time. Remember when people said the Bulls wouldn’t even make the playoffs? That was funny.

    • pudgalvin - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      Well, I explained the reasons. The good defensive teams love it when you jack up 35 threes a game. The style fits in the west because there aren’t as many teams that rely on defense more than offense. In the east, you aren’t going to beat the Bulls or the Pacers, let alone the Heat 4 out of 7 times in the playoffs. And last night showed, that eventually you hit a stetch where you miss 18 out of 20 shots and you let teams back into games.

      I don’t mean to knock the Knicks because they’ve shown they’re a very good team, but I just think the matchups in the East are bad for them.

  13. dysraw1 - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    yeah big up to da Bulls they did the damn thing. i am a Knicks fan, but i give respect where it is due. i told my wife as second half begone that da Bulls would not quit, an Thibs wouldn’t let them.

  14. bux1022 - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    @ chitownmom

    U must not have seen our backup 3 cope playing center! Watch the game not the highlights chump! Knicks have had the same if not more injuries than the bulls. None is bad as rose but he hasn’t played a game yet.

  15. hillzmickelzon - Apr 12, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    ate Robinson needs to get paid ASAP.. Honestly its like he can’t be guarded he was blowing by Knicks left and right

  16. yankees218 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    I have to agree in some sense. This site wrote barely anything about the Knicks the past couple of weeks during their streak but were very quick in writing an article about how it ended. When this was the heat, there were at least a handful of articles a day.

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