Carmelo Anthony wanted to bring his A-game to the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night as the Denver Nuggets squared off with the New York Knicks. In the end, it was Anthony's Nuggets who left the arena with the victory in a 120-118 game.
In what some were calling a job interview for the soon-to-be-free agent, Anthony had a typical Melo-type game, scoring 26 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. It wasn't attention grabbing, but as Melo often does, at the end of the day his numbers were again pretty impressive.
If Anthony did anything to sour the Knicks' front office it might have been being called for a technical foul at the 3:07 mark of the fourth quarter with the Nuggets clinging to a 3 point lead. The T, and subsequent loose ball foul on Melo, took the crowd out of the game and allowed the Knicks to ultimately tie the game at 109.
Anthony redeemed himself hitting 1-of-2 free throws with 12.7 seconds remaining to extend the Nuggets lead to three points. Raymond Felton then lost the handle of a pass to give the ball back to the Nuggets, where Melo iced the game again hitting 1-of-2 free throws to increase the lead to 4. A Felton desperation three found the bottom of the net with one second left, but after getting fouled on the in-bounds pass Chauncey Billups made his first free throw and intentionally missed the second as the clock expired.
Not quite out of the doghouse, J.R. Smith saw one minute of play, registering a foul but no offensive stats.
Statistical leaders for the Nuggets:
Points: 26 - Anthony
Rebounds: 9 - Anthony, Gary Forbes
Assists: 8 - Billups
Blocks: 1 - Anthony, Forbes
Statistical leaders for the Knicks:
Points: 24 - Amar'e Stoudemire
Rebounds: 17 - Landry Fields
Assists: 11 - Felton
Blocks: 5 - Wilson Chandler