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For the Record: Bulls officially eliminated from the playoffs with loss to the Knicks

NEW YORK – When first hearing the main fact that came from Monday’s defeat for the Bulls, some might have been surprised.

In fact, there is one answer that many people had: Didn’t that already happen?

We’ll, no.

Not until Monday at Madison Square Garden, even if the Bulls were considered out of playoff contention in November or maybe even this summer when the rebuild started with the jettisoning of Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade.

But Monday did the trick, as the Knicks’ 110-92 defeat of the shorthanded Bulls means the team won’t be in the postseason for the second time in three seasons. Their 24-46 record leaves them only in competition for a better chance to draw a lucky lottery ball for the NBA Draft coming up in May.

With Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markannen all nursing injuries, it wasn’t much of a contest as the team once again looked to a collection of reserves. New York led by ten at the break and expanded it to 16 by the end of the third quarter before finally finishing off an 18-point victory.

Cristiano Felicio did lead the Bulls with a career-high 17 points while Antonio Blakeney and Bobby Portis chipped in 18 points.

Not all is bad for the Bulls, however, since the elimination from the playoffs officially puts them in the lottery and helped their chances for a higher pick. With the defeat, the Knicks are now a game-and-a-half “ahead” of the Bulls for the ninth worst record in the league, keeping the Bulls at the eighth spot.

Still the team has “work” to do since, as of Monday night, the team remains 5 1/2 games off Suns’ pace for the worst record in the league.