NEW YORK (AP) — Zach LaVine decided to take the game into his own hands and finally put an end to this double-overtime affair.
Scoring a career-high 41 points, including all eight in the second overtime and the game-winning free throw with 0.2 seconds left, LaVine led the Chicago Bulls to a 116-115 win over the New York Knicks on Monday night.
“I was doing what I do to get us a lead,” LaVine said. “I try to get to the cup, get to the free-throw line. At the end of the day, I am going to do what I do to help us get a win.””
Antonio Blakeney scored 17 points, Jabari Parker had 15 and Wendell Carter Jr. added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls.
Enes Kanter led the Knicks with 23 points and 24 rebounds while Allonzo Trier scored 21.
Emmanuel Mudiay’s coast-to-coast layup had tied the score with 2.7 seconds left in the second overtime. But, his foul sent a driving LaVine to the line for the winning free throw.
“I love the attack on that last possession to get to the free-throw line, which was obviously needed,” said Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg. “Our guys needed to get a close one. The guys hung tough and they stuck together. We found a way to get it.”
LaVine, who scored all eight of Chicago’s points in the second overtime, scored the final points of the first overtime with his fadeaway jumper with 1:13 remaining.
Chicago had taken its biggest lead of the game, 59-49, on LaVine’s free throw with 7:28 remaining in the third quarter. The Knicks cut the deficit to two, 72-70, on Kanter’s short turnaround with 1:47 left in the third but still trailed 78-72 after three.
The Knicks scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to pull within one and finally got even at 93-93 on Trey Burke’s jumper with 4:14 remaining.
LaVine then hit three consecutive 3-pointers for the Bulls, but Trier hit a pair of free throws and then a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left to tie the game 102-102.
LaVine missed a pair of shots on Chicago’s next possession. Trier couldn’t connect on a jumper with three seconds left and Mario Hezonja’s offensive rebound and follow-up didn’t fall as the game went to overtime.
Mudiay gave the Knicks their first lead since the second quarter, 104-102, when he hit a jumper with 4:12 left in the first overtime.
“Tough one to take on the chin. Tough way to end the game,” Trier said. “Those are games you want to win. We were right there. I guess we’ve had a lot of moral victories, but we have to find a way to get over the hump.”
Damyean Dotson scored 18 points, Mudiay finished with 16 and Hezonja added 15 for the Knicks.
Bulls: With the victory, Chicago avoided starting the season 2-9 for the second consecutive season.the Bulls have won four of their last five games against New York.
Knicks: Kevin Knox, the #9 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, returned after missing seven games with a sprained left ankle. He played just five minutes and scored two points.New York has now lost both ends of their two back-to-backs this season. In their first set, the Knicks lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics on October 19-20.
WHO’S FOLLOWING THE LEADER?
Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg) last season, while Kris Dunn was #1 in both assists (6.0 apg) and steals (2.0 spg). Markkanen (sprained right elbow) has not played yet this season and Dunn (sprained left MCL) has only played one game (October 22 vs. Dallas).
A NEW WAY
With Tim Hardaway Jr. out of the starting lineup on Monday night with a lower back injury, Frank Ntilikina is now the only Knick to start all 11 games this season. Hardaway Jr. was replaced by Allonzo Trier, who received the first start of his career.
The Knicks did not hit their first basket of the game until Damyean Dotson connected on a 3-pointer with 6:53 left in the first half. Despite the early draught, the bucket gave the Knicks a 6-4 lead. Overall, New York shot 23.1% (6-26) from the field in the first quarter and trailed 24-21.
Bulls: Chicago visits New Orleans on Wednesday.
Knicks: New York visits Atlanta on Wednesday.