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List of Articles by Fakhouri Amjid



Epic comeback turns into epic meltdown

By Fakhouri Amjid
PhilBoxing.com
09 Apr 2012



CHICAGO -- Down 21 points late in the opening quarter, they were sinking fast and furious, kicking and flailing desperately to keep head above water.

But like an oak in a mighty storm, the Chicago Bulls weather another sloppy start by relying on their defense and mental toughness. They turned a 26-6 deficit into a 75-72 lead after three quarters of play.

What followed was heartbreak, as the Bulls bungled four consecutive free throws before eventually losing to the Knicks in overtime, 100-99, Sunday afternoon at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

With 34.1 ticks left and the Bulls nursing a 91-88 advantage, Luol Deng stepped to the free throw line with the chance to seal the deal. He missed both.

In the ensuing possession, the Knicks' Steve Novak rimmed out a game-tying 3, forcing New York to foul quickly. But Derrick Rose also missed both his foul shots, setting the stage for Carmelo Anthony to knot the count at 91 with a 25-foot triple off Taj Gibson.

Rose had another chance to win the game in the final 11.2 seconds of regulation, but his step-back jumper hit nothing but air.

Anthony reprised his heroics in overtime, hitting yet another 3 with 8.2 seconds to go. It proved to be the fatal dagger as Chicago's last chance at triumph failed when Rose's running jumper bounced harmlessly away from the basket.

"It's definitely tough. Free throws, turnovers, that's the reason we lost," a dejected Rose, the reigning NBA MVP, told the Chicago Tribune.

Rose, who missed 22 games to injuries, played for the first time since March 12. He finished with 29 points on 8-of-26 shooting. He also had six rebounds and four assists, but he showed some expected rust with eight turnovers.

Deng and Carlos Boozer combined for 26 points and 25 rebounds while Taj Gibson added 11. Joakin Noah contributed 11 points and five rebounds.

The Bulls shot just 39.3 percent from the field (36-of-89) and went only 7-of-22 beyond the arc. They controlled the boards, 59-47, but they had 20 turnovers against the Knicks' nine.

Anthony led the Knicks with 43 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He sank 16 of 31 field goals, including 4-of-5 treys. Rookie Iman Shumpert and JR Smith pooled together 29 points while Landry Fields chipped in 10.

The Bulls and Knicks square off again this Tuesday night at the United Center in Chicago. (Fakhouri Amjid)


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