NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony let it fly from halfcourt, and when it went in, he had proof of what was already obvious.
When I made the shot at the half, I told myself the zone was there, Anthony said.
Soon, he had passed Kevin Durant. Next was Bernard King, and finally Kobe Bryant.
Three records, all shot down in one scintillating performance.
Anthony scored a career-high 62 points to break the franchise and current Madison Square Garden marks, and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Bobcats 125-96 on Friday night to stop a five-game losing streak.
Anthony made 23 of 35 shots, one when he leapt from center court to beat the halftime buzzer, and even added 13 rebounds in the NBA’s highest-scoring performance this season.
Anthony had 56 after three quarters, bettering Durant’s previous season high of 54, and stayed in for the first few minutes of the fourth to break King’s Knicks record of 60 set in 1984 and Bryant’s arena record of 61 set five years ago.
I made history tonight, with the performance, but just to be a part of that group of people, like I said, there’s only a small group of people that knows what that zone feels like and tonight I was one of them, Anthony said.
It was easily the highlight of the season for Anthony, on pace to miss the playoffs for the first time in his career and facing frequent questions about his future with the team as he heads into free agency this summer.
That was all on hold for one night, the focus simply on Anthony’s amazing scoring.
He easily passed his previous career best of 50 points and possibly could’ve even passed 70 or more had the game been close. Instead, he checked out for good after breaking the records when he banked in a short jumper with 7:24 to play.
I’ve seen him score a lot of points, but that was some performance right there, said J.R. Smith, who was also a teammate of Anthony’s in Denver.
CLIPPERS 112, BULLS 95: In Chicago, Blake Griffin had 26 points and 13 rebounds to lead Los Angeles.
Carlos Boozer scored 22 points for the Bulls, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
The Clippers, playing without injured All-Star Chris Paul, have won four straight against the Bulls.
THUNDER 101, CELTICS 83: In Boston, Serge Ibaka scored 21 points to lead Oklahoma City, which played without NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks announced before the game that Durant would sit to rest his ailing right shoulder. Brooks said he did not know how long his star forward would be out.
PELICANS 103, PISTONS 101: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Eric Gordon’s driving layup with 1.9 seconds left gave New Orleans the victory.
Detroit blew a 16-point third-quarter lead, and the Pistons inexplicably didn’t call time after Gordon’s winning shot.
MAGIC 114, LAKERS 105: In Orlando, Fla., Tobias Harris had 28 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to lift Orlando.
RAPTORS 104, 76ERS 95: In Philadelphia, Kyle Lowry had 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points to lead Toronto.
SPURS 105, HAWKS 79: In Atlanta, Tim Duncan had 17 points and 16 rebounds to lead San Antonio.
CAVALIERS 93 BUCKS 78: In Cleveland, Anderson Varejao scored 16 points, and Kyrie Irving had 10 points and 10 assists as Cleveland handed Milwaukee (8-34) its 10th loss in 11 games.
NETS 107, MAVERICKS 106: In New York, Mirza Teletovic scored 24 of his 34 points in the second quarter, and Deron Wiliams had 18 points and 11 assists as Brooklyn won its fourth in a row.
GRIZZLIES 88, ROCKETS 87: In Houston, Courtney Lee scored 19 points, and Zach Randolph added 15 as Memphis held on when Patrick Beverley shot an air ball 3-point attempt under heavy pressure