Carmelo Anthony scored 11 of his 12 points in the first half and only managed one attempt in the second half, as the Cavaliers defeated New York 98-90.
For nearly a month, Anthony had thrived as the team’s go-to scoring option as he never had to consider deferring to the team’s other star, Amare Stoudemire, who was out with a bulging disk in his back.
In the 13 games Stoudemire was out, Anthony averaged 30.6 ppg. On Friday, Anthony managed just 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting, which tied his lowest point total in a month.
“Tonight, the Cavs just outworked us. They were the more physical team. They wanted this win tonight. They went and got it. We didn’t bring it. We didn’t have it. Cleveland, they wanted it more than us,” Anthony said.
Anthony, who can find shots for himself within any offense, also reaffirmed that he and Stoudemire could co-exist even though the numbers belie that statement.