Riding a hot 4-game win streak that included wins over better teams in the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers, spirits were high the Bulls could extend that streak at Madison Square Garden where they would take on a Knicks team missing 3 starters in Kristaps Porzingas (injury) , Joakim Noah (suspension), and Derrick Rose (surprise, injury.) Holding just a 1-game lead over the Indiana Pacers for the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference (not to mention only a game and a half over the Miami Heat to still be in the playoffs), a win would be huge for the Bulls at this point in the year, and it seemed like they might just get it.
However, Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks would have another say in the matter.
The Knicks walked away with a 100-91 win over the Bulls. Melo lead the Knicks in scoring with 23, while the Bulls Jimmy Butler lead all scorers with 26.
While the game only ended in a 9-point defeat for the Bulls, the game was actually much uglier than that. Down more than 20 points in the game, the Bulls were dominated on both ends of the floor. They were also out rebounded 53-36, and turned the ball over 15 times.
The disappointing loss comes with only 4 games left in the regular season, while the Bulls only now hold 7th place from the Pacers due to head-to-head play, and are only half a game out of 9th from the surging Heat.
Even with the recent loss, the Bulls still have a strong chance to make the playoffs. Of those 4 games left, all are against non-playoff bound Eastern Conference teams, including two against the Brooklynn Nets, who currently have the worst record in the NBA. Even with the Bulls problem of playing down to their competition, they should be able to come together and pull through to hold onto the 7th seed when the playoffs begin.