Written by William Lee
January 24, 2014 Carmelo Anthony set a career high and franchise record with 62 points in Madison Square Garden.
In a post-game interview with MSG’s Tina Cervasio, it was revealed that Anthony and the Knicks as a whole were inspired in the locker room before the game by a motivational video about greatness by a Mohammad Ali speech. Anthony said “My energy level went up, my focus level went times ten” after watching the video. It showed early, as Anthony drove to the lane throwing down a thunderous one handed dunk to score his 18th point of the game in the first quarter alone. This tied for most points scored in a quarter by any player so far this season. He would set a record this season for most points scored in a quarter on a step back jump shot to give him 20 points to end the first quarter, and also gave New York a 30-21 advantage at the end of the period.
Carmelo Anthony continued his rampage on the Charlotte Bobcats in the second quarter, scoring 17 points for a total of 37 points in the first half. The 37 first half points would mark the most point scored by a player in the NBA this season in any half played. Even with Anthony almost matching the total point output Charlotte was putting up, the Bobcats for most of the first half was always within striking distance, always within single digits deficit for the most part. It wasn’t until Anthony took a breather on the bench that the Knicks put a strangle hold on the Bobcats. J.R. Smith got himself and his teammates involved, including a beautiful lob pass to Jeremy Tyler for an alley oop dunk. By the time Anthony returned, him and the Knicks would push the lead to as much as 21 when Anthony ended the first half making a buzzer beater from half court that gave New York a 67-46 lead.
“When I made the shot at half, I told myself the zone was there. You know, only a couple of people knows what that zone feels like.” Anthony continued to be in the zone in the third quarter, scoring 19 points in the period, for a total of 56 points after three quarters. No matter what, you knew that he would not be denied breaking all the records with one whole quarter left in play, and that is exactly what happened. Carmelo Anthony would not be denied tying Bernard Kings franchise record 60 points set in December 25, 1984, as he gasped for air and drawing a hard earned foul from Bismack Biyombo. Anthony would calmly sink both his free throws for his 59th and 60th points.
Anthony would shortly make a bank shot for his 62nd points of the game, which erased a non-Knick from holding the record for most points scored in Madison Square Garden, held by Kobe Byrant scoring 61 points in February 02, 2009. The 62 points by Carmelo Anthony was also the NBA’s highest-scoring performance this season, and was a personal career high as well as franchise high. Smith would intentionally foul right after the play to let Anthony absorb the Gardens’ affection for what he has done on this historic night. There were many chants of “Melo” and “MVP” throughout the night, but none was louder than ovation he received when he was substituted out after his record breaking night.
Carmelo Anthony stat line on a historic Friday night 62 points 13 rebounds including 6 made threes and a perfect 10/10 from the free throw line. This was one night after he was named as a starter for the All Star game in New Orleans this year, where many sports analyst and pundits openly questioned his selection as a starter afterwards. Anthony proved that the fans got it right 62 ways on a cold winter Friday night in New York City.
Certainty we cannot expect a repeat of this performance every night from Carmelo Anthony, but what was nice to see was the return of the two point guard lineup that was so successful last season. Andrea Bargnani’s latest injury along with the decimated frontcourt has forced Mike Woodson to go small, and it also gives Jeremy Tyler an opportunity to show New York what he has to offer. Tyler showed potential, especially in the second quarter, where his play was so well, it kept Tyson Chandler on the bench for most of the period. In the second quarter Tyler was very lively and active, getting a couple of dunks as well as four rebounds and two blocks that helped increase the Knicks’ lead.