Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Derrick Rose struggled for most of the contest but stepped up when it mattered most, sinking a difficult floater with 5.7 seconds left in the game to lead the Chicago Bulls to an 82-81 win over the New York Knicks from the United Center.
After Tyson Chandler sank 1-of-2 at the foul line to spot New York a one-point advantage, Chicago called timeout to draw up a play for its superstar point guard. Rose, who had shot 6-of-22 from the field to that point, drove baseline and lofted a runner over Chandler's outstretched arms to the delight of his home crowd.
Carmelo Anthony missed a contested triple at the other end as time ran out on the Knicks, who fell to 3-21 in their last 24 trips to the United Center.
The win marked Rose's first in the regular season since Apr. 25, 2011.
"In this league, whenever you can get a win you have to be happy with it," Rose said. "When we're up in a game, that's when we have to be our most aggressive."
Rose netted 18 points for the Bulls and Joakim Noah added 15 rebounds and five assists. Luol Deng also had 17 points in the victory.
Anthony filled the stat sheet with 22 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals for New York, while Chandler corralled a game-high 19 rebounds. Raymond Felton netted 13 points and handed out six assists.
"I just have to do a better job of getting us over the hump down the stretch," New York coach Mike Woodson said. "I'm proud of the way we competed. Guys stepped up and played tonight."
The Bulls led for the majority of the contest, and a creative pass from Noah to Rose under the basket led to a layup and a 76-66 Chicago lead with 7:53 left. The Knicks stayed hungry however, and Tim Hardaway Jr. sparked an 12-0 New York run with a deep triple late in the shot clock. Anthony's step-back from the mid-post gave the Knicks their first lead since they went up 7-6 early on.
Noah and Iman Shumpert traded free throws to tie the score at 80-80 with a minute and a half remaining. Anthony and Rose both came up empty on consecutive isolation plays in the final minutes, but Chandler drew a foul on Noah fighting for a rebound with 10.8 left. His free throw gave the Knicks a temporary lead, which disappeared moments later on Rose's heroics.
Rose got off to a difficult start, missing his first four shots including an airball from downtown. But Jimmy Butler's stout defense led to a pair of fast breaks, which Rose turned into layups at the other end to force a quick timeout with Chicago ahead, 14-7.
The Bulls missed seven shots in a row following the timeout, but responded by scoring eight straight to end the period.
After an errant Anthony pass with seven seconds left in the first, Kirk Hinrich drove the length of the floor and pulled up for a 13-footer, which clanged off the back rim. Taj Gibson opportunistically crashed the glass and scored on a put-back as time expired to spot the Bulls a 26-16 edge.
The second quarter was sloppy both ways, with the two teams combining for 14 turnovers -- seven apiece -- and just 15 made shots. Chicago led 43-38 at the half.
The Knicks D collapsed on Deng in the post on consecutive plays early in the third, allowing Rose time to step into a pair of threes from the top of the key.
Andrea Bargnani, who went scoreless in the first half with three turnovers and three fouls, shot 4-of-4 in the first six minutes of the third to keep the Knicks within striking distance, but a 9-0 surge had the Bulls in front 64-51 late in the frame.
Amar'e Stoudemire scored five points in just under 11 minutes on the court in his season debut ... The Knicks have 37 turnovers through two games. They averaged a league-best 11.6 turnovers per tilt last season ... Butler had a double-double for Chicago with 11 points and 10 rebounds ... Chicago outscored New York 46-24 in the paint. New York shot just 12-of-32 in the paint ... The Bulls go back on the road to face Philadelphia on Saturday, while the Knicks have two days off before hosting Minnesota on Sunday.