Just more than two weeks ago, the Bulls ended the second-longest winning streak in major professional sports history when they snapped the Heat's 27-game run despite being down four rotation players.

Thursday night at the United Center, sitting out three key pieces this time, the Bulls pulled off an encore.

Posting their first season series sweep over the Knicks since 2004-05, the Bulls snapped the Knicks' 13-game winning streak with a 118-111 victory in overtime behind another inspired effort from Jimmy Butler and crucial bench scoring from Nate Robinson.

Butler scored 22 points with a career-high 14 rebounds with Robinson hitting a team-high 35 points.

The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 36 points while J.R. Smith added 28 points and 14 rebounds.

The victory gave the Bulls a half-game lead over the Hawks for fifth place in the Eastern Conference race with four games remaining. Remember when the Bulls were chasing the Nets for the fourth seed and home-court advantage in the first round? That was at least a Taj Gibson injury ago, a player the Bulls certainly could have used against the smaller, quicker Knicks.

If the Bulls finish in fifth, they likely would face the Nets, against whom they went 3-1 this season. If they drop to sixth, a first-round matchup with the Pacers is likely. They dropped three of four to them.

"I know everyone talks about that," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "To me, you have to get your team ready to play. Once you get to the playoffs, you're not getting around people. You have to play well to beat them.

"Sometimes, trying to map it out backfires too. You think this is a better matchup. Well, maybe when you played them they had injuries or it was a bad time during the season. You never know. When you get to the playoffs, you want to be playing great basketball and you want to be healthy. So whoever is in front of you, that's who you have to deal with."