Carmelo Anthony played like a legend in front of legends tonight, scoring 41 points on 17-28 shooting to lead the Knicks to a 101-83 victory. The Knicks responded to a sluggish first half by scoring an incredible 42 points in the 3rd quarter, including eight threes. JR Smith also dropped 30 points, including four of the eight threes in the third. The Knicks honored the 1973 Knicks championship team in style tonight.
An ugly both quarters from both teams resulted in a 19-19 tie. The Bucks shot a miserable 33% and the Knicks were no better at 36%. Carmelo Anthony was the only Knicks player who did anything on offense, as he had 10 points on 4-8 shooting. Nobody else on the Knicks had more than three points in the quarter. Meanwhile, the Bucks had little direction on offense and Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis took multiple poor shots. Jennings had four points on 2-6 shooting and Ellis had four points on 1-5 shooting. Probably the best moment for the Knicks in the quarter was Tyson Chandler’s hard alley-oop jam, where his neck certainly looked ok. The Knicks missed numerous open shots and were only 1-9 from three-point land in the quarter.
More of the same in the second quarter, only the Bucks got hot from behind the three-point line and took a 45-36 lead going into halftime. The Knicks allowed J.J. Reddick to hit four three-pointers, which was much better offense for the Bucks than long contested two-pointers from Ellis and Jennings. You would think that with the celebration of the 1973 championship the Knicks would have good energy, but that was certainly not the case. The Knicks shot even worse this quarter than they did last quarter, shooting 29%. They were 1-12 from three for the half and had more turnover (6) than free throws attempted (5). A sequence that perfectly summed up the half for the Knicks was when Iman Shumpert and Chandler both air balled layups and the Knicks had a shot clock violation. Anthony had 12 points and an impressive nine rebounds at the half, and JR Smith scored 13 points and took the ball strong to the basket again, as only four of those points were outside of the paint.
Jason Kidd put a bow on what was perhaps the best Knicks quarter of the season by banking in a beyond half court shot to put the Knicks up 78-66. Felton did a great job of denying Jennings the ball, forcing Mike Dunleavy to put up a bad three and Kidd go the rebounded and hoisted up a 60 footer that banked in. They scored an incredible 42 points in the quarter and hit eight three-pointers after hitting only one in the whole first half. Anthony was ridiculous in the quarter, scoring 18 points on 8-10 shooting, and he hit his first eight shots from the field. The Knicks went on a 7-2 run to begin the quarter to cut the lead to 47-45 before Jennings got hot. He scored seven consecutive points to put the Bucks up nine again, including a four point possession, where after making the first free throw he missed the second, got his own rebound, and put the shot up all in one motion and got an and-one. From that point on, the Knicks went on an insane 25-2 run to go up 73-59. Anthony scored the first eight points of that run, including two and-one three-point plays. Six out of the next seven Knicks baskets were three-pointers, including four from Smith, one from Anthony and one from Raymond Felton. The final three-pointer from Smith was a contested one that went in, out, and then in again and it summed up just how hot the Knicks were. Smith scored 12 points in the quarter and Felton had nine.
Anthony finished off a special night at MSG, by scoring eight consecutive points down the stretch to finish off the Bucks. He scored 41 points, tying his idol Bernard King’s Knicks record for most consecutive 40 point games with three and the Knicks won 101-83. Chandler started the quarter off with two dunks, including one off a beautiful pick-and-roll with Kidd. The Bucks managed to make it a game again when J.J. Reddick nailed a three-pointer to cut the Knicks lead to 87-81 with 4:39 remaining. That is when Anthony hit four consecutive mid-range jumpers from around the left elbow to put the game away. He was serenaded with MVP chants down the stretch of the game.
- A very special night at MSG. Hopefully it’s not the last one this season.
- Tyson Chandler looked much improved. Probably the most important development tonight. Grabbed 10 rebounds and was moving much better.
- What can you say about Melo at this point? Watching a scorer of his ability do this for three straight games is just such a joy.
- The best things about this run from Melo is that very few of his points have been forced. He has still been making quick decisions and the correct passes out of double teams. Everything in rhythm.
- Melo is the first player in 28 years to score at least 40 points while shooting over 60% in three games.
- Jr Smith and Carmelo Anthony 71 points. Bucks 83
- Those two were also monsters on the boards, combining for 24 rebounds.
- Can we just skip the rest of the regular season already? That atmosphere in the second half with the legends on hand got me pumped for the playoffs!
- With that being said Sunday at Oklahoma City should be a lot of fun too.