For the third time in his career, Carmelo Anthony scored 50 points. While it is the first time he’s done it with the New York Knicks, leading them to a win over the NBA champions and the Eastern conference leaders, it came on a night when the competition he faced wasn’t exactly at its peak form, not playing with their top two players.
So despite the Knicks beating the Miami Heat 102-90, only the 16th loss this season by the Heat, their fourth at home and first since January 4, not to mention being their second loss in 31 games, there’s not too much to be bragging about the victory, with both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade out with injuries (or maybe just resting), leaving Chris Bosh to lead the team without them.
It does give the Knicks a win in the season series vs the Heat, winning for a third time in four games. It came with Carmelo Anthony having his best game of the season, probably of his career, shooting 18-26 from the field and 7-10 from beyond the arc, there was simply no stopping him, making it 31.4 points per game over his last five, with the Knicks now winning nine in a row, grabbing a temporary hold of the second spot in the Eastern conference.
The other worth mentioning moment, or stretch for the Knicks, was their defense, especially in the fourth quarter. Mike Miller went off for 18 points in the first half, reminding everyone of his abilities to get hot and score, just like he did in the clincher in last year’s Finals series. And yet, with the game turning into a physical battle, the Knicks held the Heat without a field goal for the final 7:54, forcing six turnovers and ending on a 16-4 run. Yes, everyone besides Carmelo Anthony was pretty bad, with the rest of the Knicks shooting 42.2% from the field.
While Tyson Chandler didn’t have the return of his dreams, getting 24 minutes with only 1 points and 2 rebounds, Kenyon Martin continues to be the productive old-man of the moment for the Knicks, getting 9 points and 6 rebounds from him.
This still puts the Knicks pretty much even with the Pacers, and nowhere near the Heat. This doesn’t shake up the feeling that with full lineups, and we’ll see full lineups when these two teams meet again, if they actually do, there’s no competition from Carmelo and his group to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, not to mention Anthony not really liking it when James is the one guarding him instead of the easier to push around Shane Battier.
There’s no reason not to celebrate a 50-point game, but considering the circumstances, the Knicks and Anthony know it isn’t a realistic portrayal of the power-balance in the East.