DeMar DeRozan scored the last two of his 25 points with 0.4 seconds remaining to give the Chicago Bulls their third straight win and hand the host New York Knicks their second consecutive loss, 118-117 on Friday.
DeRozan’s game-winning jumper over Quentin Grimes, who fouled DeRozan while contesting the shot, came when 89.1 percent free-throw shooter Jalen Brunson missed a pair of foul shots on the other end. Brunson could have given the Knicks a three-point lead with 6.1 seconds remaining.
Instead, the two unlikely misses for Brunson concluded a dismal 15-of-26 night for New York at the free-throw line and gave the Bulls renewed life.
Chicago’s Zach LaVine contributed down the stretch, scoring the final two of his team-high 33 points on a layup to cut the deficit to one point with 7.1 seconds remaining.
New York pulled ahead by three points on the preceding possession when RJ Barrett attacked LaVine off the dribble and hit a well-contested jump shot under heavy duress.
The basket capped Barrett’s season-high, 44-point performance.
New York also got 29 points and 12 rebounds from Julius Randle. Beyond the tandem of Barrett and Randle, however, the Knicks struggled to find consistent offense.
Brunson finished with 12 points and nine assists, but shot just 5 of 15 from the floor and finished 1 of 4 at the foul line. Immanuel Quickley came off the bench to score 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.
Chicago countered with the trio of LaVine, DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, with the latter producing 21 points and 12 rebounds. DeRozan also notched a season-high 10 assists.
The Bulls have their first winning streak of three games this season. On four previous occasions they won two in a row.
The Knicks have dropped two straight following an eight-game winnings streak.
–Field Level Media