NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony did everything he could to personally drag this woeful Knicks team to victory, and his 46 points on 16-of-26 shooting were almost enough to get the job done.
But after banking home a three-pointer over Derrick Favors to tie the game at 100 with 2.3 seconds remaining, Trey Burke hit an incredible shot from the baseline to send New York to its seventh straight loss.
Anthony was defended by Gordon Hayward for most of the night, who bulked up significantly in the offseason specifically for nights like these. But he admitted afterward that Anthony punished him in this one.
“He’s a scorer,” Hayward said. “I love playing against guys like that. It gets a little physical down there, but that’s kind of the nature of who he is. He’s hard to guard. We put multiple guys on him and it still doesn’t seem like it works.”
“I’m sore,” Hayward said of the physical battle. “I was already kind of catching a cold. To have to fight him during that is exhausting, man. He’s a hassle down there. He creates the contact, so even if you’re not really trying to, he’s right there battling you.”
Anthony was aggressive in going to the basket again and again, especially down the stretch. It’s a departure from what the Knicks have done to this point in the season — settling for a ridiculously high number of midrange jumpshots, which obviously have delivered less-than-desirable results.
“As the game went on, I just saw some holes in the defense where I could take advantage of that,” Anthony said. “I saw they were playing me one-on-one, and I felt I could take advantage down there in the post more.”
And he definitely did. It wasn’t enough, however, which means as the losses continue to pile up in New York, we can expect to see more performances like these from Anthony as he singlehandedly tries to make it stop.
“I don’t like to lose,” he said. “And tonight was just one of those games where I was trying to will our way to a win. … It was just one of them days where you’re just trying to do everything to win the game.”