Bulls 82, Knicks 81: Derrick Rose made a baseline floater with 5.7 seconds left to lift the Chicago Bulls to a victory over the New York Knicks last night in his first home game since he injured his left knee 18 months ago.
Rose had 18 points, making 7 of 23 shots, and committed four turnovers. But there was no doubt who was getting the ball after Tyson Chandler went 1 for 2 at the free-throw line to give New York an 81-80 lead with 10.8 seconds remaining.
Rose, who was a game-time decision for his return because of 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 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 tied a franchise record with its fifth consecutive victory in home openers. The Bulls also defeated the Knicks for the sixth straight time.
Amare Stoudemire made his season debut for the Knicks and had five points in 10 minutes. Stoudemire, who turns 31 on Nov. 16, is coming off minor knee surgery over the summer.
Most players in the NBA receive their salary throughout the year, but Kobe Bryant is not a typical NBA player. Negotiated as part of his contract, Bryant will receive a balloon payment of $24,363,044 today from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant’s salary for the entire season is $30,453,805 — the remaining $6.1 million will be paid out over the course of the season.
Although there is a limit to how much a player can receive in advance, Bryant is right at that 80 percent maximum.
Meanwhile, there still is no firm timeline for his return to the court from his Achilles’ tendon tear. Bryant was injured in an April 12 victory over Golden State and underwent surgery less than 12 hours later.
The team projected that Bryant would be out for six to nine months.