New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony poured in 44 points during Monday's loss to the Dallas Mavericks, becoming just the fifth player since 1990-91 to score 35+ points in each contest of a three-game losing streak. Previously, Anthony scored 44 points in Friday's loss to the Orlando Magic and 35 points in Saturday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The other players to score 35+ points in three consecutive losses (since 1990-91) were Bernard King, Dominique Wilkins, Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady. The list is exactly what you might expect—a who's who of elite players known for individual success more than team accomplishments. Incredibly, the five players on the list have zero championships and just one NBA Finals appearance among them, with Iverson and the 2000-01 Philadelphia 76ers accounting for that lone Finals showing.
The five-man list serves as a nice reminder that Anthony is hardly the first great player to spend his career with mediocre teams. Melo, now in his 11th season, actually made the playoffs in each of his first 10 years, but his teams have never been among the championship favorites. The closest he came to the NBA Finals was back in 2008-09, when his Nuggets fell in six games to the eventual-champion Los Angeles Lakers in a highly competitive Western Conference Finals series.
With his Knicks owning a hideous 21-36 record and sitting 5.5 games back of the final playoff spot, Anthony is in danger of missing the postseason for the first time in his career. He's single-handedly kept the team afloat this season but will still face the same criticisms as ever if the Knicks don't qualify. Such is life as an NBA superstar on a subpar team.
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