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Bulls vs. Knicks recap: Bulls lose

Tim Hardaway Jr.’s big 3rd quarter seals tank victory for Chicago

NBA: Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Although their chances of getting a top pick are slim, these Bulls games against the bottom teams remain as ones where they have to lose. Coming into last night’s game, the Knicks were only a half game back of the Bulls meaning a win by Chicago would see them end the night in 9th. But alas the horrid scenario of the Bulls slipping further away from the top 5 was avoided as they were thrashed 110-92 by the home team.

Cristiano Felicio led the way for Chicago with 17 points including 11 in the third quarter. Bobby Portis and Antonio Blakeney also added in with 16 points each. Here are the horrid team offensive numbers for Chicago in this game.

FG%: 35.9 (33-92)

3-point%: 30 (3-10)

FT%: 74.2 (23-31)

The Bulls were only down 1 in the first quarter but horrible second and third quarters helped the Knicks pull away and put this one out of hand early in the fourth. Despite Felicio’s outburst in the third quarter, he was outdone in the frame by Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. who ended up leading both teams in scoring with 22 points for the game.

Hardaway’s scoring outburst was the main reason New York pulled away in this game and sealed Chicago’s fate, getting 17 points on 5 of 7 shooting in the period.

(1:34 - 1:49) In this sequence, Hardaway Jr. gets the ball at the top of the three-point line and is being guarded by Justin Holiday. After a quick jab step to the right, Hardaway Jr decides to drive to his left. Holiday not only anticipates this but encourages Hardaway to go left. It’s pretty smart thinking by the Bulls given Hardaway’s dominant hand is his right and it makes it harder for him to hit a pull up jumper going left. Also with Felicio, Paul Zipser, and even Denzel Valentine possibly coming down to help off the wing, Chicago has 3 defenders in his way. The odds were stacked against Hardaway on this possession but he made it work. He was easily able to get past Holiday but was met by the big frame of Felicio. But Hardaway does a great job of adjusting mid air, going around the big man for the layup. Zipser didn’t even make an attempt to contest the shot and Valentine was too late to rotate over. Hardaway also got fouled while going up, making it a three-point play for the former Michigan Wolverine.

(2:00 - 2:06) Again the Knicks get the ball to Hardaway Jr. at the top of the three-point line. This time he’s being guarded by David Nwaba and New York did a great job of getting him open. To begin, Hardaway stands in the left hand corner. He then begins to move diagonal towards the free throw line but immediately shifts right. As soon as he does that, Hardaway Jr. gets a double screen from Frank Ntilikina and Isaiah Hicks. The double screen consumes Nwaba and with the other two Bulls defenders in between their man and the basket, it’s an open catch for Hardaway Jr. He gets the ball with nobody around him and despite Nwaba getting back to contest, is calmly able to knock down the three-pointer.

Hardaway was all over the place in the third quarter and the Bulls couldn’t seem to stop him. Another loss for the Bulls.