The Chicago Bulls had a chance to provide the most special of endings to "Joakim Noah Night" but fell just short, losing 104-103 to the New York Knicks.
DeMar DeRozan got the ball in his hands with 4.8 seconds remaining and a chance to win the game for the Bulls. But his shot was off the mark, dropping the Bulls record to 4-1.
Julius Randle (13 points, 16 rebounds) was one assist away from a triple-double, while Kemba Walker and RJ Barrett led the Knicks in scoring with 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Zach Lavine led the Bulls in scoring with 25 points but did so on a 7-17 shooting night.
The Bulls seemed all but destined to lose their first game of the season with three minutes remaining, but the home team began a 12-0 run to eventually cut the deficit to one point.
A pair of Julius Randle missed free throws gave the Bulls a chance to win it at the buzzer with 4.8 seconds remaining. DeRozan received the inbound pass and faked a handoff to LaVine. The veteran guard then dribbled toward the right wing and pump-faked but still put up a contested jumper which eventually missed the rim and all.
Isaiah Quickley put the Knicks ahead at the end of the first quarter, a lead the Knicks would not relinquish.
The Bulls kept pace with the Knicks for most of the game, finding themselves down only four points at halftime. But a 10-0 Knicks run extended the lead to 11 points.
It was not until the 10-0 run in the final three minutes that the Bulls got to within five points of the Knicks, but that run proved too little, too late as New York spoiled "Joakim Noah Night".
Special Day As Bulls Honor Hometown Favorite
It was a special day leading up to the game as many ex-Bulls players descended upon the United Center to celebrate the nine-year Bulls career of Joakim Noah, who was also named an ambassador to the Bulls earlier in the day.
Noah's tribute included a video from family, friends, and former teammates and coaches. Ironically, some of those former teammates and coaches were on the floor Wednesday night. Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson started on the bench for a Knicks team coached by Tom Thibodeau.
What's On Tap Next?
The Bulls look to rebound from their first loss of the season when they host the Utah Jazz at the United Center on Saturday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM CT and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.
Check out the Bulls On Tap podcast for further postgame reaction as well as Chicago basketball analysis and commentary all season.