Carmelo Anthony tied his career high with 50 points and the New York Knicks won their ninth straight game, beating the injury-depleted Miami Heat 102-90.
MIAMI — Carmelo Anthony released his final shot of the night and skipped backward, already knowing the outcome.
The shot was good.
For Anthony and the New York Knicks, the outcome was even better.
Relying on jump shots, Anthony tied his career high with 50 points and the Knicks won their ninth straight game, topping the injury-depleted Miami Heat 102-90 Tuesday night.
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“I felt good tonight,” Anthony said.
There was no arguing that.
Anthony finished 18 of 26 from the field, taking two dribbles to free himself from Shane Battier and make his last shot with 16.9 seconds remaining to get to 50 and send the Knicks’ bench into ecstasy. It was the third time Anthony scored 50 in his career, and the big night came with Miami’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers all sidelined by injuries.
“I think just from the start of the game, it’s a feeling that you just have while you’re out there on the court,” Anthony said. “Sometimes you get off to a good start and then you get cold the rest of the game, but tonight wasn’t one of those cases.”
Anthony made his first seven shots, and the fact he had 37 points before notching any other statistic of note — no rebounds, assists, steals or blocked shots until the third quarter — let everyone in the building know that he was all about a scoring spree.
“It’s an inopportune time to announce my candidacy for defensive player of the year,” Battier said. “Carmelo had a hell of a game. … That’s a game that drives the analytics guys crazy because he didn’t attempt a shot within 15 feet of the basket. Most nights, we’ll take that every single time.
“And he made a ton of shots. Made a ton of shots.”
Chris Bosh scored 23 points for Miami, which beat San Antonio on Sunday without James, Wade and Chalmers, but managed a mere 32 second-half points against the Knicks. The Heat’s 17-game home winning streak was snapped.
• Kobe Bryant collected 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 19th career triple-double, and the host Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 101-81.
Dwight Howard had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers (39-36), who are tied for eighth in the Western Conference with Utah. The top eight in each conference make the playoffs.
“We’re desperate, and the players know it,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said.
• Shaquille O’Neal‘s No. 34 jersey was retired by the Lakers in a halftime ceremony.
Before the game, O’Neal said, “It gets me real emotional. Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, and my father teaching me about the game, always mentioning (ex-Lakers) Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and telling me when I was a young medium juvenile delinquent that, ‘If you do things right, son, maybe one day you can be as great as those guys.’ “
• Point guard John Wall had 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as Washington beat the Chicago Bulls 90-86 for its eighth straight home victory.