The Knicks may have the NBA’s worst record, but the Bulls may have trotted out Monday the worst starting lineup anyone has seen this season. It was a lineup that made you think it was just an April Fool’s joke.
In the finale of their six-game homestand, the Knicks built a 28-point lead in the first half and held on for a 113-105 victory at the Garden.
In finishing 1-5 on the homestand, the Knicks broke a six-game losing streak and moved to a league-worst 15-62 with five games remaining.
While the Knicks have locked up a bottom-three finish and their 14 percent chance at winning the Zion Williamson Lottery, the Bulls (21-57) are still trying to get there.
Hence, Chicago rested some players and have injuries to others such as lottery pick, Wendell Carter, out for the season after thumb surgery, and Lauri Markkanen, being evaluated for a rapid heartbeat. The Bulls were also without Zach LaVine (knee tendinitis), Kris Dunn (back strain) and Otto Porter (strained shoulder).
Hence, the team reprimanded for resting players late last season by commissioner Adam Silver, trotted out this anonymous lineup to join center Robin Lopez (29 points): Their Windy City G-League point guard Walt Lemon Jr., Shaquille Harrison, Wayne Selden and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot — the only one of the four who was an NBA draft pick. Lemon, Harrison and Cabarrot combined to shoot 9-for-33.
New Knicks starting center Mitchell Robinson continued his rampage with 14 points, 10 and three blocks before sitting down midway through the third quarter with a sore right foot. He stayed on the bench, shoe off, wrapped in ice, but returned in the fourth quarter.
Robinson is now tied with David Robinson for second all-time among rookies with 25 consecutive games with at least two blocks.
Luke Kornet, starting his second straight game at power forward alongside Robinson, struck for a career-high 24 points. Kornet shot 8-of-11 — 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
Point guard Kadeem Allen, who has impressed coach David Fizdale, was lost possibly for the season with a concussion after hitting his head hard in the first half.