By Brian Mahoney
AP Basketball Writer
---- — NEW YORK (AP) — In nearly 800 NBA regular-games, Carmelo Anthony had never played in one like this.
It didn’t matter.
Eliminated from postseason contention for the first time in his 11-year career, Anthony said it was tough even coming to the arena Sunday night.
“But mentally, you just had to put yourself in that mindset. Although you’re not playing for nothing, if you suit up, you’ve still got to go out there and play ball,” Anthony said.
He and the Knicks did it well, getting 20 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. and beating the Chicago Bulls 100-89.
No longer with any hopes of their own, the Knicks snapped the Bulls’ seven-game winning streak and dropped them back into a tie with Toronto for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with two to play.
Joakim Noah had 13 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists for the Bulls. Jimmy Butler scored 17 points.