In case you missed it, the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony is one of the NBA's premier scorers. He led the NBA in scoring average last season and has finished in the top five in six of his nine NBA seasons. But what 'Melo did against the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night is unparalleled, both by Anthony and any other player this season.
A performance like this is one to remember—one to cherish. And what better way to do that than to break down 'Melo's 62-point performance by the numbers.
That's the number of turnovers Anthony had on the night. Having zero turnovers is an accomplishment on any night. It's even more amazing when you consider 'Melo played 39 minutes and was undoubtedly handling the ball for much of that.
How amazing, you may ask. Well, it's never been done before.
Anthony scored 37 points in the first half. Think about that. Thirty-seven points is an excellent accomplishment for a whole game. Entering tonight, that total had only been eclipsed 34 times all season. And that was in a full game.
'Melo accomplished that in only one half.
Not only is Anthony's 62-point explosion tops in the NBA this season, it's also the highest single-game point total in the history of Madison Square Garden. Think about that for a second. MSG is known as "The Mecca" and is one of the most revered basketball gyms in the world.
Anthony's 62 points are more than any other player has put up in that hallowed building. That's quite an accomplishment.
Anthony agreed, telling the Associated Press, via ESPN:
I made history tonight, with the performance, but just to be a part of that group of people, like I said, there's only a small group of people that knows what that zone feels like and tonight I was one of them.
That's the year this iteration of Madison Square Garden first opened its doors. There's been a lot of change in the world during that time. The United States has had nine different presidents during that span. Yet despite all of that change, one thing has remained constant. Nobody had scored 62 points in MSG.
Well, that's no longer the case. Not after Anthony went off.
Anthony didn't have any turnovers in this game—an amazing accomplishment. You know what else he didn't have any of against Charlotte? Assists. That's right, 'Melo played 39 minutes, jacked up 35 field-goal attempts and didn't find an open teammate once.
We could say that's surprising, but as Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal points out, it's pretty much par for the course.
While Anthony may not have had any assists or turnovers, one thing he did have was rebounds. In fact, he had 13 of them. The last player to score at least 55 points and haul in at least 10 rebounds was LeBron James, who accomplished the feat in 2005.
Now, the King has company.
The number 56 is famous in New York because of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak. It's got new meaning after tonight. It's the number of points Anthony scored through three quarters.
Oh yeah, it's also this season's single-game high before Friday night.
Individual turnovers have been tracked since the 1977-78 season. Anthony's 62 points are the most ever for a player with zero turnovers during that time.
That's a pretty exclusive club, with Anthony being the only member.
You need a lot of field-goal attempts to score 62 points. It took Anthony 35. But not only do you need to shoot a lot of shots, but you also have to be accurate. Suffice it to say, 'Melo was. He made 23 of his 35 field-goal attempts, or 65.7 percent.
Talk about a hot hand.
That's the number of times someone has eclipsed Anthony's 62-point performance in the last 10 years. Naturally, both feats were from Kobe Bryant, who scored 81 in 2006 and 65 in 2007.
What we witnessed tonight was pretty amazing. As a keepsake, Alan Hahn, an MSG Network studio analyst, provided an image of the box score. Make sure to take it in, because it could be a long time before we ever see anything else like it.
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