Rapid Reaction: Bulls 118, Knicks 111 (OT)
April, 11, 2013
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a hard-fought 118-111 overtime win over the New York Knicks on Thursday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Nate Robinson had a huge game off the bench for the Bulls, scoring 35 points, and Jimmy Butler had another big game, pouring in 22 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. The energetic pair led the way for a Bulls team that overcame a 17-point deficit while still playing without Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose. Given the way the Bulls have played over the last week, this is a win coach Tom Thibodeau and his team should savor as they head into the final four games of the regular season.
What it means: The Bulls win these kinds of games against high-level teams because they play together with no fear. No matter who is on the floor, no matter who is hurt, they believe they can win because Thibodeau has instilled confidence in them. Confidence is a trait that Robinson is never lacking. He always believes he can dominate a game and he always believes he can lead his team to victory. He plays with a swagger that can drive Thibodeau crazy, but it's the type of energy the Bulls desperately need down the stretch. To that point, Butler continues to improve day by day and is showing why so many people within the organization are encouraged by his success. Thibodeau clearly trusts in him more than he did earlier in the season, and he should. Butler has proven he can make a major impact against some of the best teams in the league. He has played 98 minutes over the last two games.
Hits: Rip Hamilton chipped in with 14 points, eight assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.
Misses: Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 15 rebounds, but he and Kirk Hinrich combined to go just 6-for-22 from the field.
Stat of the night: The Knicks' 13-game winning streak is over.
What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Friday night when they face off against the Toronto Raptors.