Carmelo Anthony doesn’t lead the NBA in scoring, but he does lead the league in minutes, and that’s something he would prefer not to do, especially after spending so much of the summer rehabbing a torn left shoulder.

Anthony scored 45 points in the Knicks’ 109-106 loss to the Rockets on Thursday night, but also logged 45 minutes. Anthony, who is averaging 40.8 minutes per game, said he realizes with Tyson Chandler out at least another three weeks and J.R. Smith still feeling his way, he has to carry the load.

“I don’t want to play 45 minutes every night,’’ Anthony said Friday at the Boys Club in The Bronx, where he distributed free food as part of the Carmelo Anthony Foundation. “At this rate if that’s what I have to do to try to help this team, then I’m all for it.’’

In preseason, Anthony said he took a “big risk’’ in not having shoulder surgery and choosing to rehab it.
Anthony won’t say if he has lost any range of motion on his shot after shooting just 40 percent before his 45-point explosion against the Rockets. But he said Friday the rehab took a lot of time away from just playing basketball in the offseason.

“My summer was pretty much occupied when it came to rehabbing the shoulder,’’ Anthony said. “You had to almost put double the amount of time that you would in any other offseason. I had a torn shoulder in two different places. You had to fix that. You had to fix the stuff that’s around it. You had to fix other parts of your body to adjust to that. It was a lot of work.’’

Anthony still has his shoulder wrapped in ice or other contraptions after games.

The Knicks carry a four-game home losing streak into Saturday’s rematch against the Hawks.
Anthony said he feels the team needs to have a stronger resolve when playing in front of the demanding fans at the Garden .