NEW YORK — The New York Knicks ended the Chicago Bulls’ seven-game winning streak with a 100-89 victory Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Bulls (47-33) wasted an opportunity to move ahead of the Toronto Raptors, who lost to Detroit on Sunday, for the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The two teams are tied at 47-33.
The loss for Chicago was just the 15th against an Eastern Conference foe since Jan. 1.
The Knicks (35-45) were officially eliminated from playoff contention Saturday when Atlanta clinched the final playoff berth with a win over Miami.
New York held on to its lead in the fourth quarter without its leading scorer, forward Carmelo Anthony, who was resting his sore shoulder. Rookie guard Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 20 points. Anthony and shooting guard J.R. Smith chipped in with 17 points each.
Chicago center Joakim Noah narrowly missed recording his fifth triple-double of the season, scoring 13 points, with 17 rebounds and nine assists. Guard Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 17 points and forwards Mike Dunleavy and Taj Gibson added 13 points apiece.
The Bulls got as close as 95-88 with 2:10 to play, but Hardaway’s two free throws with 49.6 left and a 3-pointer moved the Knicks lead to 100-88.
Forward Carlos Boozer’s jumper pulled the Bulls to within 71-61 with 1:56 left in the third quarter, but the Knicks outscored Chicago 6-3 to grab a 77-64 edge going into the fourth quarter.
The Knicks extended their lead to 64-48 with 5:50 left in the quarter by going on a 19-9 blitz. Smith keyed the run by making his first 3-point attempts of the quarter. New York converted just two of its 12 shots from beyond the arc in the first half.
New York ended the second quarter on a 9-0 run to move into a 45-39 lead. Anthony played sparingly in the quarter, but the Knicks received a boost from Hardaway, who contributed six points in the quarter. He was the first man off of coach Mike Woodson’s bench.
Chicago showed good ball movement in the first quarter. The Bulls assisted on seven of their eight baskets and led 22-19. Boozer and Dunleavy dropped in six points apiece.
NOTES: Bulls C Joakim Noah is on pace to finish the season with 419 assists, which would place him ninth in league history among centers. Noah’s four triple-doubles this season is tied for the league lead. … Knicks F Carmelo Anthony is averaging a career-high 8.2 rebounds going into the game. … During Chicago’s seven-game win streak before Sunday’s game, the Bulls have outscored their opponents by 11.7 points. … Chicago is 29-3 this season when it scores at least 96 points in a game.
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