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Sunday, January 26, 2014
Magic: Melo should stay in N.Y.

By Ian Begley

Kobe Bryant wasn’t the only Laker great to weigh in on Carmelo Anthony's free agency on Sunday.

Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson also shared some thoughts on Anthony.

Will Carmelo Anthony listen to Magic Johnson's advice?

My advice to Carmelo is to stay in New York and build a championship team at home.

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 27, 2014


It’s interesting Johnson would be so adamant about Anthony staying in New York, only because Johnson is a longtime Laker and former part-owner of the team.

It’s also interesting because Anthony himself has noted that the Lakers are probably one of a handful of teams that would make sense for him as a destination this summer.

"What other team would they say? I don’t think they would say any other team," Anthony said in October. "If you look at situations, that’s the only team that they probably would say.”

When thinking about Anthony's free agency, it's worth noting that the Knicks can offer him a five-year, $129 contract. Other suitors, such as Chicago or Los Angeles, can ink Anthony to a maximum of $96 million over four years. So the Knicks have a financial advantage.

For those looking interested in reading the tea leaves regarding Anthony's future, there's this: Kobe Bryant jokingly said on Sunday that "New York is a beautiful place, don't get me wrong, but it is colder than s--- out here. You know, palm trees and beaches obviously are a little more appealing" to potential free agents.

Carmelo's reply?

"I love the snow. I played in Syracuse where it snowed 25 inches."

Melo nearly sets two-game mark: With 97 points in a two-game stretch, Anthony posted the third-highest two-game total in Knicks history. Bernard King scored 103 over two games in 1984-85, and 100 over two games in 1983-84.

Fourth-quarter “stops” key: The Knicks relied on Anthony’s scoring and some stingy fourth-quarter defense to seal Sunday’s win. New York forced Los Angeles to miss seven of its last 11 shots after the Lakers pulled within one with nine minutes to play.

“If you’re going to make a push to win games that’s when your defense has got to pick up and carry you home,” Woodson said. “When we had to get stops coming down the stretch in that fourth quarter we were able to get the stops.”

Hardaway Jr. “ahead of the scale”: Rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. had 15 of his 18 points in the second half to help lift the Knicks. He hit four of his five 3-point attempts.

“I’ve said all along, Tim is ahead of the scale,” Woodson said. “He’s not your typical rookie.”

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