New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls: Postgame Grades and Analysis
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls played a rare NBA split squad game in front of a restless United Crowd on Thursday night.

The injury report for the game read more like a Stephen King novel, as both clubs were clearly wearing the effects of a grueling six months of basketball.

Where the Knicks felt there injury problems more for their shear numbers, the Bulls faced another night of hoops sans Derrick Rose (knee) and Joakim Noah (foot).

Yet coach Mike Woodson's undermanned and undersized squad forced the issue. They sprinted out to a 23-6 run over a dismal opening six minutes that featured eight Chicago misses and a pair of Tom Thibodeau timeouts.

Thibodeau's second verbal barrage awakened his B-Team (Marco Belinelli, Jimmy Butler and Carlos Boozer), and Chicago closed the quarter on a 17-7 run.

The second quarter saw both teams trading buckets and veteran official Joe Crawford toss out technical fouls like he was running out of time to meet his season quota.

But Chicago started clamping down defensively in the second half, holding New York to 46 points in the last 24 minutes of regulation after allowing 59 in the first 24.

And it made enough strides on offense to grab a four-point lead with 2:36 left in regulation. New York scored the final four points of the period, but Carmelo Anthony's attempted game-winner clanged off the back iron and sent this game to an extra session.

In that overtime period, the Knicks looked gassed. Chicago scored 13 of the 19 overtime points to claim a 118-111 win.

The Bulls (43-35) moved a half-game clear of the Atlanta Hawks for the fifth seed in the East and busted a double-digit winning streak for the second time this season. The Knicks (51-27) lost for the first time in their last 14 games, but remained two games ahead of the Indiana Pacers for the second seed.

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