Carmelo Anthony went punch-for-punch with LeBron James all night. James narrowly outscored Anthony and was slightly more efficient, but Anthony carried his team to the victory. Melo drilled three of five 3-point attempts in the second half as the Knicks stormed out to an 11-point lead. With Tyson Chandler, he also picked up the slack on the glass sidelined by snaring eight rebounds. And don't forget those five dimes, including a sweet no-look to Amar'e Stoudemire for a slam.
Melo made all the right plays Thursday night, but perhaps his best was when he was squared up with James. Anthony used his patented jab step to create space then unleashed a hesitation dribble that froze James. Melo drove baseline and soared in for a highlight reel dunk. Anthony's leadership and determination infected the entire team with energy, which they needed to knock off the two-time defending champs.
Photo by George Kalinsky for Madison Square Garden