New York heist: Ewing's bank robs Bulls

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NEW YORK -- Patrick Ewing banked a 15-foot jumper from the baseline with 7.7 seconds left, sealing the New York Knicks' 97-93 victory over the rival Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

Ewing finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds as the Knicks (47-16) extended their winning streak to seven games, the longest current streak in the NBA. New York also opened a 1½-game lead over second-place Miami in the Atlantic Division.

Dennis Rodman and Patrick Ewing get into a tussle in the fourth period.

"This was a big game, no question. There was a tremendous amount of intensity," Ewing said. "We have a lot to prove and we came out with a lot energy and enthusiasm. It's a big win against a great team."

Chicago, the only team in the league to have clinched a playoff berth, is now 53-8. The Bulls are one game behind their record-setting pace from last season, when they finished 72-10.

The Knicks led for most of Sunday's game, but Chicago battled back from a 14-point deficit in the final six minutes.

Ewing made turnaround jumper with 1:11 remaining to give the Knicks a six-point lead, but Michael Jordan made a pair of jumpers to pull Chicago within 95-93 with 29 seconds left.

The Knicks then dribbled the clock down and passed the ball to Ewing, who shot a baseline jumper over Robert Parish. The shot kissed off the top-left corner of the backboard and went in -- despite the almost impossible angle for a bank shot -- and gave New York a four-point advantage.

The Bulls then missed two 3-pointers before time expired.

"I was to pop out and when I got the ball, either drive or pull up for the jumper," Ewing said of the game-clinching play. "I started driving to the hoop but I saw a lot of guys coming at me, so I pulled up. I banked it in because as I released it, (Parish) fouled me."

"The basketball gods were out on that shot," Parish said. "A bank shot from the corner -- tough shot. It was a hell of a shot."

After making the shot, Ewing began to spin around in celebration as he headed back to the Knicks bench for a timeout.

"It takes a lot of nerve to celebrate on a shot like that," Chicago coach Phil Jackson said with a smile.

Jordan led all scorers with 36 points and Dennis Rodman grabbed 18 rebounds. Scottie Pippen scored 14 points for Chicago, but he was scoreless in the fourth quarter and shot four for 18 overall.

John Starks scored 13 points and Charles Oakley and Allan Houston added 12 apiece for the Knicks, who had not beaten Chicago in a regular-season game since March 10, 1996 -- Jeff Van Gundy's first win as Knicks coach.

"We didn't conquer the world tonight, but we did something we haven't been able to do in the past -- beat the Bulls," Knicks forward Buck Williams said. "It was good to let them know that we are capable of beating them, even with this game being as insignificant as it is in the big scheme of things."

Ewing and Williams scored four points apiece as the Knicks opened to fourth quarter with a 15-6 run, giving them an 87-72 lead with 7:23 left.

Ewing drew a loose-ball foul and technical on Rodman with 4:57 to go. Ewing had gone airborne for a rebound and, as he kicked his leg out, Rodman apparently pushed Ewing's leg.

The Knicks center went crashing to the floor, and as he went to stand up, Rodman bumped him and put him in a bear hug.

"I thought what he did was unnecessary," Ewing said. "He picked up my leg and body-slammed me. I didn't appreciate it; I could have gotten hurt."

After the incident, the Knicks missed all three foul shots and the Bulls began a final surge. Parish and Steve Kerr each scored four points to cut the deficit to 93-89 with 1:31 left.

Kerr finished with 12 points and Parish, 43, extended his NBA record by playing in the 1,600th regular-season game of his career.

Ewing and Rodman collided earlier in the game. With three seconds to go, Ewing stole a lazy inbounds pass just past halfcourt and thundered in for a dunk over Rodman. Ewing toppled over Rodman and came up holding his knee and limping, but was able to return for the second half.

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