JamesFriday night saw two drastically different outcomes for two of the NBA's biggest stars. At roughly the same time Carmelo Anthony was wrapping up his worst game in a New York Knicks uniform in Detroit, LeBron James was putting the finishing touches on a dominating performance in Atlanta.
Anthony made two of his 12 shots from the field in the Knicks' loss to the Detroit Pistons, finishing with just six points. It was the first time in Anthony's career he scored as few as six points in a game when playing 30 minutes or more.
Prior to Friday, Anthony had not shot as poorly from the field (16.7 percent) in a game with at least 10 field goal attempts since going 3-for-18 from the field in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on April 15, 2009.
As Carmelo suffered through his worst game of the season, LeBron was lighting up the Atlanta Hawks for 43 points in the Miami Heat's 21-point win in Atlanta. James outscored not only the other four Heat starters by a margin of 43 to 35, he outscored all five Hawks starters by the same margin.
17,000 Points in First 8 Seasons
James has four 40-point games this season, one behind Kevin Durant for the most in the NBA, and 46 since his rookie season in 2003-04. Over the last eight seasons, only Kobe Bryant (79) has more 40-point games than LeBron.
James also reached 17,000 career points Friday night, becoming the fifth player in league history to score 17,000 points in his first eight seasons. In an even more exclusive club, James joined Oscar Robertson as the only players to amass 17,000 points, 4,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists in their first eight years.
Elsewhere in the NBA Friday:
• Derrick Rose tied a career high with 42 points in the Chicago Bulls' loss to the Indiana Pacers. He joined Jamal Crawford and Ben Gordon as the only Bulls with multiple 40-point games since Michael Jordan's last season in Chicago in 1997-98.
• Rajon Rondo continued to struggle, scoring four points on 2-for-11 shooting vs the Houston Rockets. Over his last four games, Rondo has now scored a total of eight points and has a field goal percentage of 13.8 (4-for-29).
• Jameer Nelson's first career buzzer-beater gave the Orlando Magic a three-point win over the Denver Nuggets. With three-and-a-half weeks remaining in the regular season, there have been 15 buzzer-beaters in 2010-11. That's one shy of last season's total.