While most of the excitement in March is usually reserved for college basketball players, Carmelo Anthony provided a little of his own, and in the process showed exactly why the New York Knicks gave up so much to acquire him.
AnthonyAfter being held under 30 points in each of his first seven games with the Knicks, Anthony (31 points) eclipsed the 30-point mark for the second straight game.
He reached that plateau on his go-ahead field goal with less than one second remaining which broke a tie game and lifted the Knicks past the Memphis Grizzlies.
Over the past three seasons Anthony has proven to be one of the most clutch performers in the NBA. He has made eight field goals in the final 10 seconds of games in which his team was tied or trailing by fewer than three points.
Those eight field goals are tied for the second most in the NBA over the last three seasons. Anthony has been efficient as well, converting on 50 percent of those opportunities.
He is now 4-for-6 in such situations this season (1-for-1 with Knicks). Even more enlightening though is what other Knicks had done in these same type situations this season.
Other Knicks have combined to go just 1-for-7 field-goal shooting in such situations. Raymond Felton (1-for-2), Wilson Chandler (0-for-2) and Danilo Gallinari (0-1), the key pieces in the Anthony trade, struggled under those same conditions.
Feeling At Home in a New City
Elsewhere around the NBA:
• Al Jefferson did one half-second better than Anthony, as the big man’s tip-in buzzer-beater led the Utah Jazz past the Toronto Raptors. His 34 points were most in a game by a player with a buzzer-beater since Kobe Bryant had 39 on New Year's Day 2010.
Jefferson scored all 34 of his points from the field, going 17-of-24 from the floor. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jefferson is the first player to score as many as 34 points in a game without making either a three-pointer or a free throw since the Rockets’ Hakeem Olajuwon scored 48 points (24-for-40 from the floor) in a loss to the Nuggets on Jan. 30, 1997.
• What else is new? Kevin Love extended his double-double streak to 52 games. He notched 10 points and 12 rebounds in the first half alone, the 14th time during the streak he recorded a double-double in the first half.