CHICAGO – Derrick Rose made a baseline floater with 5.7 seconds left to lift the Chicago 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 due to a sore neck, got the ball on the wing and drove 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.
HAWKS: First-year head coach Mike Budenholzer is getting defensive with his team after losing their opener Wednesday.
Offense wasn’t an issue in the 118-109 loss in Dallas – transition defense was.
Budenholzer’s first coaching adjustment is simple:
“If you sprint back, you’ve got to take care of the basket first, and then the ball and then the most dangerous (potential shooter) – in that order,” Budenholzer said. “A lot of times if it truly is transition, you don’t end up with your own man.”
GRIZZLIES: Have signed Quincy Pondexter to a contract extension, beating a Thursday night deadline for players drafted in 2010.
The 6-foot-6 guard-forward led the Grizzlies with a career-high 39.5 percent shooting from 3-point range in 59 games last season. Pondexter, who hit a combined 40 three-pointers in his first two seasons, hit 60 three-pointers last season.
He was even better during the playoffs – shooting 45.3 percent outside the arc. In the Western finals, Pondexter averaged 15.3 points.
Pondexter was the 26th selection overall by Oklahoma City in 2010, trading his rights to New Orleans. Memphis traded for him on Dec. 24, 2011.
• Guard Tony Allen wanted to make sure at least 500 people got the chance to attend Memphis’ home opener.
Allen bought 500 tickets that were given away Thursday after Grizzlies’ practice.
The tickets were given out in the grand lobby of the FedExForum on a first-come, first-served basis Thursday with a limit of two tickets per person.
The Grizzlies host the Detroit Pistons tonight.
KINGS: Ben McLemore showed flashes of athleticism and aggressiveness in Wednesday’s season-opening win over Denver, with five of his seven shot attempts coming from beyond the 3-point arc and the other two on dunk attempts. But he made just one three-pointer, and finished with four points on 1-of-7 shooting.
Head coach Michael Malone isn’t hitting the panic button on his Top-10 draft pick just yet though.
“You look at his line, it wasn’t his best game, obviously,” Malone said. “But Ben’s a guy that gets better almost every day. He didn’t make shots tonight, but I thought he had some great looks that he usually makes and I’m never going to discourage him from taking shots he can make.”