Carmelo Anthony arrived at the Garden more subdued than usual, more focused. Teammates were concerned. Nobody realized he was about to have the loudest, most historic night of his career and the most prolific game any Knick or the Garden ever had seen. One game after it appeared his frustration level had hit a new low, Anthony made Friday a magical, memorable evening by scoring a franchise and Garden record 62 points, topping his idol Bernard King and Kobe Bryant, respectively. Anthony’s greatness carried the 16-27 Knicks to a 125-96 romp over the Bobcats to snap a five-game losing streak as the Garden crowd went bonkers and chanted his name most of the second half. “It still feels surreal to me — no better feeling than having that feeling tonight on this home court,’’ said Anthony, whose young son, Kiyan joined him in the giddy locker room. “The fans, I haven’t heard them like that since last year. It was good to get that feeling back.’’ It was a deluge of joy after a season of misery. “We all needed it,’’ Anthony said. “I needed it. We needed it as a team as a moral and confidence booster.’’ Anthony, whose previous career high was 50 points, accomplished three times, racked up 20 after one quarter, 37 by halftime and carried 56 points into the fourth quarter. The Garden crowd cheered each time he brought the ball upcourt in the third quarter, chanting “Me-lo,’’ wanting more, wanting history. And they got it. He did it with Knicks legend Patrick Ewing on the Charlotte bench and against Michael Jordan’s team. “I’m sure he was watching it,’’ Anthony said of Jordan. “I made history tonight with the performance, but just to be a part of that group of people. Only a small group of people know what that zone feels like.’’ Ewing, whose career high was 51, did not like the fact Anthony lit up his team, but acknowledged it was a great performance. “You see people with nights like that and tonight was just his night,” Ewing told reporters. “Everything that he shot looked like it was going to go in. He had a great game. We tried to double him, get the ball out of his hands. He was hot.” Anthony hit 23 of 35 buckets — including six 3-pointers — and made all 10 of his free throws. His 62 points were complemented by 13 rebounds. “He put on one of the great performances of our generation,’’ Tyson Chandler said. “I’m just glad now a Knick player holds that [arena] record.’’ Anthony scored the golden points on a beauty — spinning away from a double team on the low post and burying a running bank shot with 7:23 left. The Knicks called time out seconds later and, in a classy move, pulled him from the game with 7:18 left as the fans gave him a wild standing ovation — as did his giddy teammates. The other Knicks took turns hugging him on the bench as he let loose with the biggest smile of this depressing season with free agency looming and his future murky. “Teammates standing up with you, the laughter, seeing everyone smiling once again,’’ said Anthony, who had cursed out a heckling fan in the final minutes of the prior game against the 76ers. “That’s what I was more excited to see. Guys on the bench smiling high-fiving, having fun once again.’’ The Knicks franchise record for points was King’s 60, accomplished Christmas Day in 1984.
'Melo breaks Knicks record with win over Bobcats
New York Post | Jan 25