Just one day after Carmelo Anthony was named as a starter in the 2014 All-Star Game, he proved that he belongs among the game's elite with 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats. It was the highest-scoring game in the history of Madison Square Garden and set an all-time New York Knicks franchise record.
Anthony passed Bernard King, who previously held the team’s record with 60 points.
ESPN Stats & Info pointed out that Anthony joined some elite company with his scoring outburst:
Camelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant are the only active players to score 60 points in a game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 25, 2014
The contest between the New York Knicks and the Charlotte Bobcats was more a question of who would finish with more points—Anthony or the entire Bobcats roster—than which team would win the game.
Clearly the Bobcats pulled off the feat, but Anthony was only trailing 66-56 through three quarters.
The win for the Knicks is one thing, but his incredible night stole the show. Melo spoke after the game about what may have ignited the inspired performance:
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News continued with another statement from Anthony:
When I asked Carmelo late Friday what he will say to Kobe on Sunday, he replied: "I was going for 81."— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) January 25, 2014
The superstar finished 23-of-35 from the field and 6-of-11 from behind the three-point line and was critical in ending the Knicks’ five-game losing streak. He had fellow superstar LeBron James pulling for him and former all star Tracy McGrady breaking out the Kevin Durant comparisons:
C'mon Mike Woodson keep @carmeloanthony in. I wanna see 70-75! Well actually I can't see cause I'm at an event but I'll see the highlights!— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 25, 2014
Guess Melo got tired of hearing about KD scoring and had to join in. He's on fire..— Tracy McGrady (@Real_T_Mac) January 25, 2014
Anthony’s shot chart from ESPN Stats & Info was a thing of beauty:
Carmelo Anthony taken out with 62 points, record for current version of Madison Square Garden. pic.twitter.com/Z5iXTu0vE6— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 25, 2014
Sure, the Knicks have struggled all season, but for one night, the entire team got to revel in Anthony’s greatness:
What’s more, this being the Eastern Conference, the playoffs are not far from reach. Perhaps this game will inspire the Knicks going forward.