Well-rounded games are easy to appreciate, but it takes a special effort to impress with no variety. Carmelo Anthony had that special effort.
Third Star: John Wall (27 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists)
Prior to March 12, Wall had posted 25 points, nine assists and five rebounds just three times in his career. Since March 12, he’s averaging those numbers.
Second star: Kobe Bryant (23 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks)
Kobe’s second triple-double of the season gives him his first season with multiple triple-doubles since 2008-09. And nobody had the points/rebounds/assists/steals/blocks numbers Kobe did since Latrell Sprewell in 2003.
First Star: Carmelo Anthony (50 points)
I don’t have the numbers to back this, but this must be the highest-scoring game without a single shot in the paint. I can’t imagine someone topping this, though I never imagined a player could score 50 exclusively outside the lane. Not only did Anthony not shoot in the paint, not a single one of his eight free throws came off an attempt to shoot in the paint. Anthony avoided the paint like it was a rebounds, assist, steal or block. He lasted 29 minutes before collecting one of those peripheral stats, but he never succumbed to that yellow area around the rim.
Anthony was absolutely in the zone when it came to shooting outside the paint, though. He shot 11-of-16 from mid-range (69 percent; season average: 43 percent) and 7-of-10 on 3-pointers (70 percent; season average: 38 percent). To hit those marks with such a high usage rate is basically unreal.