Melo: “This is my house!”

Melo called it a statement game, and the message was very clear- the Bulls better stop Melo, and do it early.

Anthony scored 43 points, his most since coming to New York last February, and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left in OT as the Knicks spoiled the return of D-Rose to the Bull’s lineup, beating the Bulls 100-99 on Sunday.

Anthony tied it with a 3 late in regulation and scored the final five points of overtime. Let’s be honest though, this opportunity for heroics was there only as a result of 4 straight missed free throws in the final 34 seconds of regulation. And we thought Rose was done with missing FTs back in Memphis!

“This was a playoff game. We have a chance, we might play these guys in the playoffs if we keep doing what we’re doing and get that seed, so this was a big statement game for us and we willed this one tonight,” Anthony said.

The Garden was buzzing early, and definitely had the look and feel of a playoff game. Last month, Melo was hearing boos; today he heard the loudest of roars and chants after his second clutch 3-pointer.

Melo said Sunday’s big basket was one of the best of his career.

“This was one of the top,” he said. “Overtime, Easter Sunday, everybody’s watching, everybody’s in the Garden, so this ranks as one of the top.”

Rose Update: Rose had missed the previous 12 games with a strained right groin, but scored 29 points Sunday morning. He shot only 8 of 26 from the field and missed a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left in regulation and the Bulls ahead by three.

Playoff ImplicationsNY increased their lead over Milwaukee to one game for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They travel to CHI on Tuesday, visit MIL on Wednesday, and close a grueling week by hosting MIA next Sunday.