(19-26, 8-14 away)
(16-27, 8-15 home)
7:30 PM ET, January 24, 2014
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Carmelo Anthony pours in 62 vs. Bobcats for Knicks, new MSG records
NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony let it fly from halfcourt, and when it went in, he had proof of what was already obvious.
"When I made the shot at the half, I told myself the zone was there," Anthony said.
Three records, all shot down in one scintillating performance.
Anthony scored a career-high 62 points to break the franchise and current Madison Square Garden marks, and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Bobcats 125-96 on Friday night to stop a five-game losing streak.
Anthony made 23 of 35 shots, one when he leaped from center court to beat the halftime buzzer, and even added 13 rebounds in the NBA's highest-scoring performance this season.
Anthony had 56 after three quarters, bettering Durant's previous season high of 54, and stayed in for the first few minutes of the fourth to break King's Knicks record of 60 set in 1984 and Bryant's arena record of 61 set five years ago.
"I made history tonight, with the performance, but just to be a part of that group of people, like I said, there's only a small group of people that knows what that zone feels like and tonight I was one of them," Anthony said.
It was easily the highlight of the season for Anthony, on pace to miss the playoffs for the first time in his career and facing frequent questions about his future with the team as he heads into free agency this summer.
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
Carmelo Anthony reacts to fans after his record-breaking 62nd point Friday night.
That was all on hold for one night, the focus simply on Anthony's amazing scoring.
He easily passed his previous career best of 50 points and possibly could've even passed 70 or more had the game been close. Instead, he checked out for good after breaking the records when he banked in a short jumper with 7:24 to play.
"I've seen him score a lot of points, but that was some performance right there," said J.R. Smith, who was also a teammate of Anthony's in Denver.
Smith noticed a different focus from Anthony before the game, a seriousness replacing the usual laughter. Perhaps some of it was some added pregame motivation after the team watched a video featuring Muhammad Ali, one of Anthony's favorite athletes.
With the Knicks desperately thin in the frontcourt after losing Andrea Bargnani on top of the injuries to Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin, Anthony simply took on more of the scoring load as New York won for the first time on its eight-game homestand after dropping the first three.
King, elected to the Hall of Fame last year, said he was proud of Anthony, who he considers one of the best players in the game.
"If anyone was to break my Knicks record that I have held for so long, I'm absolutely delighted that it was Carmelo," King said through the team's public relations department.
Al Jefferson had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, snapping his streak of four straight 20-10 games. Charlotte had won two in a row, holding division leaders Toronto and the Los Angeles Clippers to an average of 93 points.
Carmelo Anthony joined an exclusive list in becoming just the sixth player in the last 25 seasons to collect at least 60 points and 10 rebounds in a game:
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Anthony also scored the most points without a turnover since the latter were first recorded in 1977-78.
|-- Elias Sports Bureau|
But the Knicks, who had lost to the Bobcats 10 days ago to start their current skid, shot 56 percent. So what happened to Charlotte's defense?
"Melo. Enough said," Jefferson said.
Fans chanted "Melo! Melo!" when the Knicks had the ball in the second half, as if they were calling a play. That was replaced by "We Want Melo! We want Melo!" after he checked out.
He made 20 of his first 26 shots against what had been a good defensive team, but there was no defense for the zone Anthony was in.
"When he's in one of those zones, ain't nothing nobody can do about it," Jefferson added.
Last season's scoring champion had eight points in the first 2½ minutes, went 8 of 10 in the first quarter and had 20 points as the Knicks led 30-21. He skipped his usual break and kept playing deep into the second quarter before finally taking a seat with 4:34 left, shortly after missing an open jumper.
He returned with 2½ minutes left to finish the half in style, throwing in a buzzer beater from just inside halfcourt to cap his 15-of-21 half and make it 67-46, Stoudemire laughing hysterically on the bench in his brown suit jacket and the rest of the players leaping in celebration.
"Just to see everybody smiling once again, that's what I was more excited to see," Anthony said. "Guys on the bench smiling, high-fiving, having fun once again, that's the only thing I care about."
Turned out Anthony was just getting started.
He made his first five shots in the second half and the Bobcats would eventually grow frustrated, picking up two technical fouls on one play after Anthony's 3-pointer late in the third.
He made both free throws, part of his 10-for-10 showing at the line, and said he tried to check himself out earlier but his teammates wouldn't allow it.
Kemba Walker, who had 25 points in all three previous matchups against the Knicks, sat out his third game in a row with a sprained left ankle. ... The Knicks said Bargnani, who tore the ulner collateral ligament in his left elbow, won't require surgery and will instead just need rest and treatment.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
NEW YORK - JANUARY 24: J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks controls the ball against the Charlotte Bobcats on...(Photo by David Dow NBAE via Getty Images)
Next 5 Games
*Carmelo Anthony was 13-for-18 (72.2%) from the mid-range area, including ten makes in the first half. He has not had more than 11 such makes in his career. *Carmelo Anthony was double-teamed on eight touches against the Bobcats, all in the second half. He passed to his teammates on six of the eight touches and scored two points in such situations.
Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high and Knicks' record 62 points on 57 offensive touches Friday against the Bobcats. He passed 16 times (28%) on his offensive touches and attempted 35 shots (61%), tied for his career high.[+]
Carmelo Anthony Offense, Friday vs Bobcats
Carmelo Anthony took 17 of his 35 shots on isolation plays. On such plays, he converted 10 for 22 points. He leads the league with 5.6 isolation points per game. - Anthony was 15-for-24 for 35 points on jump shots.[+]
Carmelo Anthony Scoring by Play Type, Friday vs Bobcats
From Elias: Carmelo Anthony had 62 points and 0 turnovers... FROM ELIAS: It's the most points scored without a turnover since individual turnovers were first recorded in 1977-78.
Carmelo Anthony was 11-for-13 (84.6%) for 25 points with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as his primary defender on Friday, 30 percentage points higher than any other defender. He made one fewer shot against Kidd-Gilchrist than against all other defenders, on nine fewer attempts.[+]
Carmelo Anthony Offense by Defender, Friday vs Bobcats
BIG PROBLEMS FOR KNICKS BIG MEN F/C Andrea Bargnani Out indefinitely (torn left elbow ligaments) F/C Amar'e Stoudemire Sprained left ankle Jan. 16 (expected to miss 2 weeks) F Kenyon Martin Sprained left ankle Jan. 16 (expected to miss 2 weeks) C Tyson Chandler Returned to lineup in last 5 games after illness< F Metta World Peace Played once in last 17 games (knee); missed 13 straight >All Knicks losses
Knicks records: * Most points in a 1st half: Bernard King - 40 on Christmas Day 1984 * Most points in a 2nd half: Patrick Ewing: - 38 on March 7, 1995 * Most points in a game: Bernard King - 60 on Christmas Day 1984
ESPN Stats & Information
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