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Anthony, Knicks reign in OT after Rose clanks free throws

Rose scored 29 points after missing the previous 12 games with a strained right groin, but he shot only 8 of 26 from the field and missed a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left in regulation and the Bulls ahead by three.

Anthony made a three-pointer eight seconds later to tie it, and scored the final five points of the extra period as the Knicks pulled out a thriller in a possible playoff preview.

The Bulls trailed by 21 in the first quarter, led by 10 in the fourth quarter, then failed to put it away by missing four consecutive free throws in the final 34 seconds of regulation.

Despite having their starting five together for only the 11th time this season, the Bulls lost for the third time in four games, their NBA-best record falling to 43-14.

The Knicks increased their lead over Milwaukee to one game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They travel to Chicago on Tuesday, visit Milwaukee on Wednesday, and close a difficult week by hosting the Miami Heat next Sunday.

Iman Shumpert scored 15 points and J.R. Smith had 14 despite 6-of-22 shooting for the Knicks, still without the injured Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin but got a sensational effort from Anthony, who made 16 of 31 shots. Tyson Chandler grabbed 16 rebounds.

Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 16 boards for the Bulls.

Rose had only seven points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half, then scored 14 in the third quarter. After trailing the entire game, Chicago finally took its first lead in the final minute of the period, later going ahead 89-80 on Rose’s four-point play with 5:04 remaining in the fourth.

The Knicks were down 10 before Smith made a three-pointer — his fourth basket in 21 attempts — and Anthony scored four in a row to make it 91-88. Luol Deng missed two free throws with 34 seconds left, and after Steve Novak‘s potential tying 3-point attempt went all around the rim before coming out, Rose missed a pair from the line with 19 seconds to go. Anthony rushed up the floor and pulled up for a long three that tied it at 91 with 11 seconds remaining, and it went to overtime when Rose missed everything on a jumper.

Chicago took a pair of four-point leads on baskets by Rose before Anthony gave the Knicks a 100-99 lead with 8.2 seconds remaining. The Bulls had trouble getting into their offense and Rose was forced to shoot and miss a tough runner as time expired.

Chicago hadn’t had its regular five together since March 5 against Indiana. Richard Hamilton left that game in the opening minutes with an injured right shoulder and only recently returned with his minutes closely monitored, and Rose was hurt a week later.

The Bulls fell to 9-2 with those two along with Boozer, Deng and Joakim Noah in the lineup.

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