Youthful Knicks Fall to Bulls in Double Overtime
BULLS 116, KNICKS 115
A foul by Emmanuel Mudiay with 0.2 seconds left in double-overtime set up Zach LaVine for a game-winning free-throw as the Chicago Bulls beat the Knicks, 116-115, on Monday.
LaVine scored a career-high 41 points, helping offset a huge performance off the bench by Enes Kanter of the Knicks, who had 23 points, 24 rebounds and 7 assists.
The day started with the Knicks embracing a youth movement, deploying the youngest starting lineup in franchise history — all five starters were 24 years old or younger. Among them was Allonzo Trier, an undrafted rookie who scored 21 points.
But the game got new life when Kanter — relatively ancient at 26 years old — came in. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first Knicks player to have a 20-20 game off the bench since starts began being recorded in 1970-71.
The game between struggling teams was a fairly ugly battle from start to finish. It became more exciting as it went on, and Mudiay scored on a coast-to-coast layup to tie the score with 2.7 seconds remaining.
LaVine, who scored all 8 of Chicago’s points in the second overtime period, was then fouled by Mudiay. The Bulls star made the first free throw to put Chicago ahead, and then missed the second in order to make sure the clock expired.
Chicago had its biggest lead of the game, 59-49, on LaVine’s free-throw with 7 minutes 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Knicks cut the deficit to 72-70 on Kanter’s short turnaround with 1:47 left in the third but still trailed 78-72 entering the fourth quarter.
Damyean Dotson scored 18 points for the Knicks, Mudiay finished with 16 and Hezonja added 15.
If there was good news for the Knicks in a tough loss it was the return of Kevin Knox, the No. 9 pick in the 2018 N.B.A. draft. The 19-year-old forward had missed seven games with a sprained left ankle, but managed five minutes on Monday, scoring 2 points.