Notebook: Melo, Amar'e change diets

Carmelo Anthony says fasting over the past 15 days has "de-energized" him. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's leading first-quarter scorer, has been misfiring lately at the start of games, and then playing catch-up. It was the same story Sunday: He shot 1-for-8 in the opening period and then finished with a game-high 27 points as the Knicks defeated New Orleans.

After the game, Anthony admitted he wasn't physically at his best, and it turns out he has been fasting for the past 15 days.

"I haven't been eating the things I like, so it kind of de-energized me," he said after the game.

Melo said he fasted for spiritual reasons to "get some clarity in my life." Interestingly, when he was with the Nuggets during a January stretch, he followed what's known as the "Daniel fast," abstaining from all meats, fish, breads, sweets and soda. His diet was limited to fruits, vegetables, raw juices and protein shakes.

But now, he said, "I surrender."

"I haven't had a good meal in about two and a half weeks," he said. "I’m going to get some food right now.

He left the locker room saying, with a smile, "I'm going to get me the biggest steak I can get."

In addition, Amar'e Stoudemire has experimented with a new diet. He went vegan three months ago -- after his ruptured cyst in late October -- avoiding meat, dairy and sugar.

"I wanted to really give myself the best opportunity to remain healthy," he said. "If something did happen and an injury did occur, I could say that I gave 100 percent from nutrition to cardio to lifting weights."

CHRIS-MAS FOR COPELAND: Chris Copeland had a tremendous afternoon on Sunday.

In the third start of his career, the rookie poured in 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting in 30 minutes. He had seven key points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer with 9:41 left to give the Knicks a 13-point lead. Afterward, he credited some of the Knicks veterans for helping him transition to the starting lineup.

"My teammates help me through every step of the process. Honestly, I don't say it just to say it. It's for real," he said. "The vets behind the scenes, from Rasheed to Kurt to Marcus, my three wise men, those are my guys."

IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME: J.R. Smith knew it was coming.

As soon as he fouled Brian Roberts near half court at the end of the first period, he knew how Mike Woodson was going to react.

"Once he blew the whistle, coach kind of gave me that 'what the hell are you doing?' look," Smith said. "I think that was the worst part."

Smith joked around, saying, "I always recognize that [look]." In fact, he's previously posted a photo on Instagram showing that moment.

During the play, it was unclear if Smith fouled Roberts in the act of shooting, but referees conferred and awarded the Hornets' guard three foul shots. Smith didn't agree with the call, but admitted he needs to work on avoiding poorly timed fouls.

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