Nate Robinson led the way with 35 points as the Chicago Bulls used a balanced attack to beat the New York Knicks 118-111 in overtime on Thursday, snapping the Knicks’ 13-game winning streak.
Robinson also drained five three-pointers for the Bulls, who spoiled another superb scoring performance by Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony.
A half dozen Bulls reached double figures, including Jimmy Butler and Carlos Boozer, who each recorded double-doubles with 22 points and 14 rebounds, and 13 points and 15 boards respectively.
Luol Deng chipped in with 16 points for the Bulls, who became the second team in league history to halt two 13-plus winning streaks in the same season, joining the 1990-1991 Phoenix Suns. On March 27, Chicago snapped the Miami Heat’s dynamic 27-game winning streak.
Deng, who had missed the previous two games due to injury, also had eight rebounds, while Richard Hamilton and Kirk Hinrich had 14 and 11 points respectively.
Anthony scored 36 points and extends his 36-point plus scoring streak to six games. The last player to achieve that was future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, who had nine straight games of 36-plus in 2003.
J.R. Smith finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds, while Anthony grabbed a season-high 19 rebounds for the Knicks, who defeated Washington on Tuesday to clinch the Atlantic Division title for the first time since 1994.
New York were hoping for their longest winning streak since a 15-game run from March 1 to April 2, 1994.
The Knicks quickly opened up a big lead on a 23-6 run, before the Bulls chipped their way back into the contest by closing the first quarter on a 17-7 run of their own to slash the deficit to 30-23.
The Knicks then led by five at halftime and got off to a strong start in the second half, extending their lead to 15 midway through the third quarter. Pablo Prigioni capped a 18-8 run with a driving layup to make it 77-62.
Anthony made a couple of clutch free throws in the last minute of the fourth quarter to level the score at 105-105. Deng’s potential game-winner then bounced off the rim.
Anthony got a clean look at the buzzer, but his shot hit the back of the rim to send the game into overtime.
The Bulls also completed a four-game sweep of the New York Knicks this season and have now won 12 of the past 16 contests between the clubs.
Chicago are 23-17 at home this season and began a three-game road trip yesterday against Toronto, Miami and Orlando.
The Knicks suffered their first loss since March 17 against the Los Angeles Clippers. They will also visit Cleveland on their brief road trip.
THUNDER 116, WARRIORS 97
In Oakland, California, Kevin Durant had 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to help the Oklahoma City Thunder regain the Western Conference’s best record with a victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Kevin Martin scored 23 points off the bench, while Russell Westbrook added 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who moved a half-game ahead of idle San Antonio for the top seed.
The Spurs split the season series with Oklahoma City, but the Thunder (58-21) own the tiebreaker because of their better conference record.
Stephen Curry scored 22 points and reserve Jarrett Jack had 19 points on a night the playoff-bound Warriors lost center Andrew Bogut to another injury.
Center Bogut sprained his surgically repaired left ankle and Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Bogut was not expected to make the trip to Los Angeles yesterday for the game against the Lakers.