On this week’s Throwback Thursday, I give Knicks fans the chance to relive Carmelo Anthony‘s best game as a New York Knick: His 43-point game against the Chicago Bulls on Easter Sunday in 2012.
The Knicks were surprisingly good in the way of their defense which was ranked #1 at the time of the game.
On a seven home game winning streak, the Garden was buzzing with excitement and expectation. Interim head coach Mike Woodson inspired the team telling them that no one comes into their house and wins. Woodson had taken over the team from Mike D’Antoni on March 14, 2012. Ironically, Tom Thibodeau was Mike Woodson’s opponent and now they are tasked with coaching together.
Carmelo Anthony drops the first shot and the spark was set to flame. Ball movement would be key for the Knicks as it would open up Anthony.
Jumping out to a 7 – 0 lead, the Bulls were forced to call a time out.
The Knicks defense showed as the Bulls needed yet another time out at 8:1 5 left in the 1st quarter down 13-3.
Melo was doing well defensively, passing the ball, rebounding, and running the court.
The Bulls defense had no answer for Carmelo as the ball movement continues to find a fiery Melo who despite the hot start was all business and no smiling.
Once Melo sat down the Bulls went on a short run to cut the lead to 12 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Knicks 31, Bulls 19
Melo is doing the little things drawing fouls and still playing great defense. Ironically, he was playing out of position as Amar’e Stoudemire was out with an injury.
In a defensive move by the Bulls, they begin to place double coverage on Melo. This allows the Bulls to cut the lead to 8 at the half.
Knicks 53, Bulls 45
Carmelo Anthony came into the third quarter going 8 for 14 with 22 points and primed for the second half.
The Bulls gained momentum to put themselves up by three at the end of the third quarter.
Bulls 75, Knicks 72
With Carmelo Anthony on the bench, the Bulls maintained their lead by five points.
Mike Woodson takes notice and brings Anthony back in at the 10:16 mark and he responds with a quick shot. Anthony follows that up by drawing a foul.
Then, the New York Knicks go on a run and cut it to 1. Carmelo Anthony has 31, the game feels lost, yet it’s Melo time.
Starting with a whirling dervish shot called for goaltending on Carlos Boozer. The Knicks begin to adjust on defense.
With a need for defensive stops and points, Melo cuts the deficit to three.
Less than a minute left down by three, Carmelo Anthony’s swift thinking deceives the defense, comes down, and knocks down a three over Taj Gibson to tie the ballgame!
11.2 left in the game. The defense pushes the game into overtime!
Tied at 91 the game becomes a defensive onslaught. Points flying back and forth the Bulls go up by four.
1:09 left in overtime down by four the Knicks need Carmelo Anthony once again.
Melo on a drive brings it to a two-point deficit.
This allows the Knicks to start the final push. They make attempts as shots miss causing ball movement to be key as the ball finds Anthony yet again with 15 seconds on the clock.
Melo methodically dribbles the ball into position preparing the defense for the kill.
With 10.5 seconds left in the game, Carmelo Anthony struck the killing blow over Luol Deng with a three-pointer that went on to be the dagger that struck the Bulls.
Of course, this would be Carmelo Anthony’s best game as a New York Knick. Also, this might’ve been his most clutch.