By scoring the final five points of the game, Anthony finally seized the moment in Madison Square Garden and buried Chicago, the best team in the NBA, in the process.
Anthony’s 3-pointer over Luol Deng with 8.2 seconds left in the game served as the game winner.
The Bulls had an opportunity to once again snatch away the game, but Rose’s runner from six feet away at the buzzer drew back iron and bounced out, sealing a 100-99 overtime victory for New York.
His season-high 43 points, included a game tying three-pointer in regulation to keep the Knicks one game ahead of Milwaukee for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
A victory Sunday seemed impossible for the Knicks as Rose dominated in his return from injury.
Rose seemingly put the game out of reach with long 3-pointer over Iman Shumpert that hit nothing but net and sent Rose to the floor with an opportunity for a four-point play. When he made the free throw, it put Chicago up 89-80 with 5:03 remaining in regulation.
A 16-foot jumper from Taj Gibson extended the Bulls lead to 10 with 3:45 left in the game, but served as the final points they would score until the extra session.
The Knicks sent the game to overtime with a 10-0 run, sparked by Anthony attacking the rim and a slew of missed opportunities from Chicago.
Rose missed four shots, two free throws and committed a turnover in the final 2:15, allowing Anthony one more chance to rescue his team.
As Rose’s second free throw hit off the back of the rim, New York secured the rebound and pushed up-court without calling timeout.
Anthony raced to the wing and with only Gibson defending, elevated from 27-feet out, without hesitation and rattled in a game-tying 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds remaining.
Chicago had an opportunity to win in regulation, ran an isolation for Rose at the top of the key, but his step back jumper sailed wide of the rim.
Anthony scored 17 points in the final 17 minutes in the opening game of a home-and-home with the Bulls.
The two teams meet again Tuesday night at the United Center.
The heroics from Anthony appeared unnecessary at the beginning of the game.
New York raced to a 21-point lead in the opening quarter, as Anthony outscored the entire Bulls team 12-6 over the first nine minutes of the contest.
Chicago slowly chipped away at the lead, with Rose scoring 14 of his team-high 29 points in the third quarter, but even after building a double-digit lead late in the game, the Bulls were unable to put New York away.
The roller coaster performance mimicked the Knicks entire season perfectly.
New York returned to .500 with a victory over Cleveland in its first game back from the All-Star break, but Anthony’s return to the lineup sparked some controversy as there were questions about his ability to coexist with Lin.
Sunday was the culmination of Anthony’s restoration as the marquee player in New York, the ultimate scoring threat that was expected to make the Knicks into a legitimate contender.
By replacing Stoudemire as the power forward, Anthony has led New York to 11 victories in its past 14 games.
With Philadelphia’s 103-79 loss to Boston Sunday, the Knicks are tied with the 76ers for the seventh best record in the Eastern Conference.
After being criticized for shooting too much earlier in the season, Anthony erased any doubts about his game with two long range jumpers when it mattered most.