- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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So what's the big secret behind Carmelo Anthony's scoring binge?
We'll let him tell you.
"It's April, I guess," Anthony said. "It's time to go."
His timing couldn't be better for the New York Knicks.
Anthony turned in another night for the franchise's history books Friday, pouring in 41 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to lift the Knicks to their 11th straight win, a 101-83 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Friday was Anthony's third straight game scoring at least 40 points. He's the first Knick since Bernard King to pour in at least 40 in three straight games.
King accomplished the feat in the 1984-85 season.
"It's a great class to be a part of, a great person to be a part of. You want to be mentioned in the same breath as him," Anthony said.
Here's someone else Melo can be mentioned in the same breath as: Michael Jordan.
King, Jordan and Anthony are the only players to have three straight games of 40-plus points while hitting at least 60 percent of their field goals in NBA history, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
"He's special, that's all I can say," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.
The Knicks coach can be excused if he's running out of ways to describe Anthony's exploits.
We all are.
Just look at what the All-Star forward has done over the past three games: 43.7 points on 64 percent shooting (11-for-19 from 3-point land), 7.0 rebounds and just 2.0 turnovers per game in 39.3 minutes.
"He's trying to do a little bit of everything," Woodson said. "That's what the great ones do, they figure out a way to beat you."
On Friday night, Anthony figured out how to beat the Bucks early in the third quarter.
The Knicks trailed struggling Milwaukee by nine at the half.
It was bad enough that the Knicks were losing to a team that had lost nine of 13. Making this worse? They were doing it in front of members of the 1972-73 title team, which was on hand being honored by the organization.
"This was one of those games you can't lose," Raymond Felton said.
Anthony felt the same way.
So he came out on fire in the third, scoring 13 points in the first 4:41 of the quarter to cut the Knicks' deficit to four.
Anthony and J.R. Smith then combined to score 17 of the Knicks' next 20 points to give New York a 14-point lead.
In all, Anthony scored 18 in the third frame on 7-for-9 shooting. The Knicks outscored the Bucks 42-21 and hit 8 of 13 3-pointers to take control.
Afterward, Anthony credited Smith (30 points) for getting the Knicks back into it.
"The way he's playing right now is really putting us, as a team, over the top," Anthony said. "And I'm just trying to piggy back off of what he's doing."
Really, Anthony's being diplomatic here. He has been the one carrying the Knicks over the past three games.
It started Tuesday in Miami when he poured in 50 points. He followed that with a 40-point night in Atlanta. And then came the 41-point outburst on Friday.
And he has done it all without forcing shots.
"That's the beauty of the whole thing," Jason Kidd said. "None of the shots have been bad shots."
Anthony credited the procedure to drain his right knee on March 15 for his recent success.
He has averaged 32.3 points on 49.1 percent shooting since the surgery.
"I give that a lot of credit," Anthony said.
While all the numbers Anthony has put up recently are impressive, the most important number right now is two. That's the combination of New York wins or Brooklyn losses needed for the Knicks to wrap up their first division title since the 1993-94 season.
"As a team we feel that we're in a real good place, a real positive place," Anthony said. "The energy is positive, on the court, off the court, in the locker room. We're feeding off each other, our confidence is growing each day."
Just like Anthony's scoring binge, the timing couldn't be better for the Knicks.
So what's the big secret behind Carmelo Anthony's scoring binge?We'll let him tell you. "It's April, I guess," Anthony said. "It's time to go." His timing couldn't be better for the New York Knicks.