Melo lifts Knicks in Celtics rematch
January, 25, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Charles KrupaCarmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett meet at center court before Thursday's game.BOSTON -- Carmelo Anthony didn't shoot any icy stares toward Kevin Garnett on Thursday night. He didn't hurl any obscenities his way.
And no, Anthony didn't feel the need to find Garnett after the final buzzer sounded.
He let his play do the talking. And what he did on the floor said plenty about Anthony, and about the New York Knicks.
Anthony scored a game-high 28 points, pulled down nine rebounds and played the role of distributor and decoy to perfection for the Knicks (26-14), who won for the first time in 14 road games against the Boston Celtics.
"For me, it was a matter of blocking everything out and just locking in," Anthony said.
And he did just that.
Anthony and Garnett shared the floor for the first time since their confrontation on Jan. 7 that led to a one-game suspension for the Knicks' star.
Though he insisted that he had moved on from the incident, many wondered how Anthony would respond to the hostile Boston environment.
So, how did it go?
"He responded exactly like he's supposed to do," Tyson Chandler said.
Anthony shook off a tough first half in which he missed nine of 13 shots to play a pivotal role for the Knicks down the stretch.
In the second half, Anthony let the Boston double teams come to him and continually found open shooters on the perimeter.
"Melo's going to get doubled," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "When they do double him in isolation, that leaves the ball to be rotated. He’s just got to sacrifice. I thought he did that tonight."
With less than 90 seconds to go in the fourth, Anthony drew a double team and found Jason Kidd. Kidd then fed J.R. Smith for an open attempt from beyond the arc.
Smith, who missed two of his first 15 shots, knocked down the 3-pointer to give the Knicks a five-point lead.
"It was easy. I see the double team. Swing. Swing. It’s just a matter of guys making shots. J.R. made that," Anthony said.
As far as interactions between Anthony and Garnett, anyone looking for a WWE scenario was disappointed.
Carmelo and Garnett shared a fist-bump before the tip and Anthony even helped Garnett up after he fell early in the second half.
"I don't hold grudges," Anthony said. "He fell and I helped him up."
After the Garnett-Anthony incident at Madison Square Garden, there was a notion that the Knicks could be beaten by getting under their skin.
For one night at least, Anthony debunked that theory with heady play in a hostile environment.
"Our mindset was come in and get this win. We did that. Stay the course. We stayed the course and we won the game," Anthony said. "The whole night was kind of satisfying."