Derrick Rose made a baseline floater with 5.7 seconds left to lift the Bulls to an 82-81 victory over the New York Knicks on Thursday night in his first home game since he injured his left knee 18 months ago.
Rose had 18 points on 7-of-23 shooting and committed four turnovers. But there was no doubt who was getting the ball after Tyson Chandler went 1 for 2 at the line to give New York an 81-80 lead with 10.8 seconds remaining.
The speedy point guard, who was a game-time decision for his return due to a sore neck, got the ball on the wing and drove to the baseline for the go-ahead basket, drawing a standing ovation from the delirious crowd at the United Center.
New York had one last chance but Carmelo Anthony missed a long jumper. Anthony then stood with his hands on his hips as the Bulls celebrated.
Luol Deng had 17 points for Chicago, which matched a franchise record with its fifth consecutive win in home openers. The Bulls also beat the Knicks for the sixth straight time.
New York coach Mike Woodson opted for a bigger look against Chicago, inserting 7-foot Andrea Bargnani into the starting lineup and using guard Pablo Prigioni as a reserve. But the Bulls still enjoyed a 46-24 advantage in points in the paint and a 48-42 rebounding edge, led by Joakim Noah's 15 boards.
Amar'e Stoudemire made his season debut for the Knicks and had five points in 10 minutes. The power forward, who turns 31 on Nov. 16, is coming off minor knee surgery over the summer and looked as if the years of health problems had robbed him of much of his athleticism.
New York trailed 76-66 with 7:53 remaining, but rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. made a 3-pointer to spark a 12-0 run for the Knicks. Felton connected from long range, Iman Shumpert had a dunk and Anthony closed out the spurt with a turnaround jumper that put New York in front with 4:10 remaining.
The last part of the game mostly consisted of turnovers and missed shots, but Chicago managed to survive behind Rose, who had both of the
Bulls' field goals in the final period.
Jimmy Butler finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago, which lost 107-95 at NBA champion Miami in its season opener on Tuesday night. Carlos Boozer added 14 points and seven boards.
Anthony led New York with 22 points on 8-of-24 shooting. Chandler had 19 rebounds, but the Knicks were unable to open the season with consecutive victories on consecutive nights. They were coming off a 90-83 victory against Milwaukee on Wednesday.