Carmelo Anthony provided the self-proclaimed World’s Most Famous Arena with the best performance it has ever seen on Friday night. The New York Knicks superstar scored 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats at Madison Square Garden, breaking both the team’s scoring record and MSG’s scoring record.
“I was just taking it one possession at a time,” Anthony told MSG Network in a postgame interview. “I came into the game locked in. I didn’t know I was going to have this type of performance. It’s an unbelievable feeling. … It’s just a zone you get into sometimes. Only a certain group of people know what that zone feels like. Tonight was one of those zones. My teammates saw that.”
Anthony set a franchise-record in scoring, surpassing Bernard King’s mark of 60 points, set on December 25, 1984. He also surpassed The Garden’s record of 61 points, set by Kobe Bryant on February 2, 2009.
King, however, was nothing but elated for Anthony.
“I am very proud of Carmelo Anthony,” King said. “I consider him to be one of the greatest players in our game. If anyone was to break my Knicks record that I have held for so long, I’m absolutely delighted that it was Carmelo.”
The seven-time All-Star had 37 points by halftime, capping off the first half with a half-court buzzer-beater to increase the Knicks’ lead to 21 points:
While being serenaded with “Melo!” “Melo!” chants from the fans, Anthony continued to knock down shots and finished with 62 points on 23-of-35 shooting and went 6-of-11 from beyond the arc. He was taken out with 7:18 left in regulation after breaking King’s record.
The Knicks faithful supplied Anthony with a standing ovation as he made his way to the bench, while a graphic on the video board displayed ‘Melo’s historic numbers.
Below is Anthony’s shot chart from the night:
“Everything he threw up was going in and it was nice to see,” coach Mike Woodson said. “We rode him to a win.”
Athletes and celebrities took to Twitter to express their respect of the remarkable performance they had just witnessed:
“MELO!!!!” Rapper Nas emphatically tweeted.
Anthony, 29, had reached 50 points three previous time but never experienced anything like he did on Friday; most players never do. He elevated himself to a place where only a select few of players have ever journeyed to. Anthony understood that.
“There’s only a small group of people that knows what that zone feels like,” Anthony said. “Tonight I was one of them.”