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Overall Game Grade: A+
To put it plainly, Anthony was tremendous Saturday night. The star forward scored 40 points off 14-of-29 shooting (4-of-9 from three), handed out a season-high six assists and grabbed six rebounds.
He did it all, and he scored from all over the floor. You know what may be most impressive about Melo's scoring output in this one? Only eight of those points came from the free-throw line.
He was knocking down shots from all over the floor, scoffing at any Magic player who dared try to defend him (and imagine he was laughing in his head at Josh McRoberts' attempts to do so).
After making a layup early in the period, Melo winced as he came down the floor. He appeared to be OK, but it's clear something (maybe the knee?) is still bothering him.
Oh, and why in the world is McRoberts defending Anthony? That's just a recipe for disaster right there. Come on—you at least have to help McRoberts out by bringing a double-team. Melo saw his opportunity and took advantage, abusing McRoberts from everywhere on the floor.
He also drained an enormous shot-clock-beating trey to tie the game with just under seven minutes to go, and on the next possession, he picked up his season-best sixth assist on a great pass to Chandler. Carmelo demonstrated the rest of the way why he is one of the best scorers in the league, scoring 16 fourth-quarter points off 7-of-11 shooting.
Melo pretty much sealed the deal with a turnaround jumper with 44 seconds to go.
Anthony did get frustrated during the third, particularly when he fouled Arron Afflalo from behind the three-point line, which resulted in a four-point play. He regained his composure, though, and canned a big trey to stop an 8-0 Magic run and then converted an and-one later on. Melo also equaled his season high in assists during the period, picking up his fifth dime.
Melo did a very good job of creating mismatches in the second quarter, shaking Arron Afflalo in order to draw smaller defenders like J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson. He did plenty of other things during the period, as well, making some great passes (he ended up with four assists at the half, one shy of his season high) and playing some very nice D.
Anthony got off to a very solid start. He was very active early on, running off screens and getting off quick some quick shots. Unlike against the San Antonio Spurs, Melo didn't have to deal with constant double-teams in the first quarter.
That obviously helped, as he was able to get into somewhat of a comfort zone from the get-go. All of that resulted in 10 first-quarter points for the star.