So, where were you when history was made at Madison Square Garden?
It was a prodigious feat and something Knicks fans desperately needed. After watching their Knicks stumble through a five-game losing streak, the fans at the Garden, and watching at home, finally had something to remember for the rest of their lives. From now on, when you ask every Knicks fan about the night of January 24, 2014, they’ll tell you where they were and who they were with because with just under two minutes left in the game, Cole Aldrich hit a putback dunk that spurred the Knicks to victory over the Bobcats.
I’m just kidding! History was made was Carmelo Anthony went completely apeshit and scored 62 points, surpassing both Bernard King, who held the Knicks’ team record of 60 points, and Kobe Bryant, who had the Garden record of 61 points.
From the opening tip, you could tell Melo was going to have a big night. He started the game a perfect 3-3 from the field, had 10 points and three rebounds five minutes into the game and he finished the first quarter with 20 points on 8-10 shooting.
And it didn’t stop there.
Melo scored 17 more in the second quarter and even hit a halfcourt buzzer beater to end the half. At that point, you figured something special was bound to happen.
And he still kept it going.
In the third quarter, he stayed hot. Melo was 7-9 from the field, 3-3 from three-point range, he pulled down five rebounds and had 19 more points.
The crowd was electric, his teammates were pumped up and you even could feel that electricity while watching at home. It was like watching those mid-90′s playoff games when the Garden crowd would jump up and roar after every shot. Heck, I was jumping up and clapping in my house.
Going into the fourth, it was evident that Melo was starting to get fatigued, but there was a record to be overtaken and with 9:52 left in the game, he was fouled and hit both free throws to tie Bernard King’s Knicks’ record of 60 points. Then, with 7:23 left in the game, after missing two shots – one from 27-feet and the other from 17-feet, Melo evaded two defenders and hit a nine-footer jumper off the backboard to put his name into the record books.
The Garden erupted and Woodson took his star out of the game a few moments later.
The Knicks needed this game, the fans needed this game and to be honest, Carmelo Anthony needed this game. He needed to be the guy who said to his team, “Jump on my back and I’ll carry you.”
The Bobcats (19-26) didn’t have an answer for Melo and didn’t even begin to double team him until the second half and by that point, it was too late.
And the answer to the question that opened this recap is “On my couch while wearing my Knicks lounge pants.”
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Do we really have to do this? Well, fine, if you insist. Carmelo Anthony’s final line: 62 points on 23/35 FG, 6-11 from 3-pt range, 10-10 FT, 13 rebounds, and 0 turnovers in 39 minutes. Ain’t no thang. One more thing on Melo. According to Alan Hahn of MSG, Melo has the most points scored without committing a turnover since turnover stats have been kept.
- Jeremy Tyler had some nice plays in this game. While Melo was the star of the game, Tyler is the one who made me clap my hands so hard, they stung for close to 20 minutes. He scored eight points – started 4-4, grabbed five rebounds, had two blocks and was the recipient of a gorgeous J.R. Smith assist that brought the crowd to its feet in the first half and should be in highlight reels for the rest of this season. He also threw down a dunk after a Melo miss in the second.
- Smith also had a good game. He was 5-9 from the field, was 3-4 from three and had four assists and two steals.
- Raymond Felton scored 11 points and had five assists in 28 minutes. He was asked about Melo’s performance and said, “A guy is hot like that? Why would you run any other play? Feed him the ball.” He added that he had the best seat in the house to watch Melo’s performance.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 10 points on 4-8 shooting. He also had three assists.
- No Andrea Bargnani or Amar’e Stoudemire.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- Nothing went wrong. Seriously. I will not say that anything went wrong when the Knicks win a game by 29 points and when Carmelo Anthony scores 62 points.
- Larry Johnson was interviewed during halftime and they showed his infamous four-point play. Can you believe it will be 15-years-old this Spring? Where does the time go?
- The Knicks’ team psychologist’s name is Dr. Sweets. That is pretty much the best thing ever. Dr. Sweets motivated the team by showing them a video of Muhammad Ali before tonight’s game. Apparently, this video is why Melo had his insane game tonight so Maybe they need to do this sort of thing before every game.
- At a few times during the game, there were palindrome scores: 32-23, 64-46 and 85-58. Why do I notice this stuff? I don’t know but I thought it was interesting.
- MSG changed ‘Knicks in 60′ to ‘Knicks in 62′ for Melo.
- Next up for the Knickerbockers, a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.