It's rare that a player will score 36 points and have a terrible game. Carmelo Anthony not only fit that bill, he lost the game for the Knicks in the more selfish and stubborn manner conceivable.
Going 3 for 15 in the first half, the Knicks down by 19, Anthony didn't change his tune after halftime. Instead, he chucked more and missed more in the second half. In the end, Anthony shot an embarrassing 10 for 35 from the field. When the Knicks needed him most- late int he fourth quarter and in overtime- Carmelo refused to pass the ball and missed every shot. It was a discouraging display that took Anthony-watcher back to 2004; a far cry from his usual improved game in 2013.
Anthony helped the team with had two drives the basket for dunks. In both cases, the defender- Kevin Garnett first and then Brandon Bass- overplayed one side and Anthony zoomed by for an easy dunk. Anthony also got to the line, shooting 16-20. But he missed two crucial free throws late int he fourth.
Anthony's ball-hogging debacle left Knick-partisans praying he'd pay the ball to Raymond Felton, or all people. Down 20 with fewer than 20 minutes left in regulation, head coach Mike Woodson eventually inserted three point guards, Iman Shumpert, and Kenyon Martin into the game.
The tactic worked. The Knicks stormed back to cut the lead to 3 by the end of the third. Each man played a crucial role. Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd repeatedly came away with steals. Felton was the scorer. Shumpert, a guard, rebounded like the reincarnation of Moses Malone. And Kenyon Martin guarded the post. The Celtics had played their one good half in the first and were crumbling.
When Carmelo came back into the game in the fourth, and the Knicks offense succeeded only when Anthony was excluded from touching the ball. The tragedy of this game was that Carmelo had rarely reverted to his old self this season. For it to happen in a close out game in the playoffs with J.R. Smith suspended, was a shame.
Jason Terry carried Boston in the overtime and Anthony kept shooting and missing, shooting and missing.
The Celtics won 97-90 and the trail the series 3-1 heading back to New York for Wednesday's game.