Carmelo Anthony didn’t carry the magic he wielded during Friday’s 62-point night into Sunday’s matinee despite a nationally televised audience and the Lakers being in town. But Anthony’s 35 points was plenty good as he got plenty of help and the Knicks squeaked out a 110-103 Garden victory over what is left of the Lakers franchise. The Knicks had five players in double figures and that was by design, with rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. giving the biggest boost with 18 points (4 of 5 from 3-point range) off the bench. Anthony had five assists including one lovely alley-oop lob to Hardaway on the break late in the third quarter. “I don’t think they just wanted to watch me play offensively,’’ Anthony said. “They wanted to be part of it and they were. Before the game, we all talked about them being more aggressive and don’t rely on me scoring 62 because it wasn’t going to happen today.’’ It started off well enough with Anthony racking up 7 points in the opening 3:17 before normalcy set in. Anthony needed 31 shots to get to 35. He shot 14 of 31 and made 5 of 6 free throws. His 97 points in two consecutive games is third-highest in franchise history after Bernard King’s 103 (1984-85) and King’s 100 (1983-84). It was hardly a magical afternoon at the Garden, but the Knicks survived after leading by just 3 points with 3:40 left. Anthony hit two back-to-back buckets with under 3 minutes left to give the Knicks breathing room as the purple and gold continued its downward spiral. “I wasn’t looking for 50 tonight,’’ Anthony said. Didn’t have to. Raymond Felton added 20 points (8 of 10), J.R. Smith pumped in 16 and Tyson Chandler had 13 points and 14 rebounds, converting three alley-oop slams off lobs from Felton off the pick-and-roll. “That is the high hopes,’’ coach Mike Woodson said of the scoring balance. “Last year we had five guys averaging double figures. You know Melo is going to get his but we need everybody to touch the ball, feel confident, shoot it.’’ The victory — the Knicks second straight without injured Andrea Bargnani — came against former coach Mike D’Antoni and the most anonymous collection of Lakers seen at the Garden in years. And the Lakers went toe to toe with the Knicks for most of the afternoon.
Anthony leads Knicks to second straight win
New York Post | Jan 27