Carmelo Anthony set the Knicks scoring record the last time Knicks played Charlotte and reached another milestone against the franchise last night, sealing the win with some big plays late.

But this time Anthony got much more help from his teammates.

The Knicks followed up their emotional win in Cleveland Thursday with a 96-93 victory over the Hornets at Madison Square Garden, and are a surprising 2-1 on this short season.

Anthony scored 28 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:23 left, and became the 40th player in NBA history to record 20,000 points. In January, Anthony lit up the then-Bobcats for 62 points in a virtuoso performance.

Last night Amare Stoudemire had a big game off the bench, and his first double-double this season. He finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Iman Shumpert added 15, including a huge three-pointer on a broken play with 2:06 left that tied the game, 93-93.

"You never know who is going to step up now," Anthony said. "Guys are just stepping up for the challenge and kind of taking the burden off (me). It's early but everybody is doing their job, playing their role and as a result, we're winning these games."

The Knicks' defense was critical and impressive.

They gave up just 13 points in the fourth and none in the final 2:48 after Charlotte took a 93-90 lead. They forced the Hornets into three turnovers in the last 2:23, including a questionable five-second violation with 36.6 seconds remaining.

"Their effort and trying to do what we ask them to do defensively are really high," Derek Fisher said.

Al Jefferson led Charlotte with 21 points. Gary Neal had 17 and Kemba Walker added 16.

With the Knicks clinging to a 95-93 lead, Walker missed a 15-foot jumper in the waning seconds that Anthony grabbed the rebound in a crowd. Fouled immediately, Anthony displayed excitement. He made the second of two free throws with eight-tenths of a second left to close out the scoring on the game and his historic night.

"It was just closure, man," Anthony said. "I looked at the stat line and I had just two rebounds. That rebound just sealed the game. So when I got that rebound I wanted to just make sure it was mine and we won the game."

Anthony needed three points for 20,000 and surpassed it on a three-pointer 4:18 into the first quarter. The public address announcer informed the crowd of what he had done, and Anthony waved. If Anthony stays healthy, he could break the top 30 by the end of the season.

"It's a humbling experience for me," Anthony said. "I never thought I'd be here talking about me reaching that milestone. I'm definitely humbled by this experience and I got more to go."

The Knicks appeared in control early as they led by 15 in the second quarter. But it was a tight game in the second half. Neither team led by more than three after halftime when there were 22 lead changes.

Charlotte went ahead 93-90 after a Walker reverse layup with 2:49 left. Shumpert's three on an assist from Pablo Prigioni tied it. After Walker missed inside, Anthony drilled a 15-foot jumper over Marvin Williams to make it 95-93 to put the Knicks up for good.

Following Anthony's free throw in the last season, the Hornets didn't get a shot off . Lance Stephenson caught the inbounds pass as time expired.

"In the past I would say we probably would have lost a couple of these close games like this," Anthony said. "That just goes to show how far we're coming and where we got to go."

 

 

 

Carmelo Anthony set the Knicks' single-game scoring record the last time the Knicks played Charlotte, and reached another milestone against the franchise Sunday night. But this time, Anthony got much more help from his teammates.

The Knicks followed up their emotional win in Cleveland Thursday with a 96-93 victory over the Hornets at Madison Square Garden.

Anthony led the Knicks with 28 points and became the 40th player in NBA history to record 20,000 points in the process. Anthony lit up the then-Bobcats for a Knicks' and Madison Square Garden-record 62 points in January.

Amar'e Stoudemire had his first double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Iman Shumpert added 15, including a huge three-pointer with 2:06 left.

Al Jefferson led the Hornets with 21 points, Gary Neal had 17 and Kemba Walker added 16.

The Knicks appeared in control early as they led by 15 in the second quarter. But it was a tight game for most of the second half. Neither team led by more than three and there were 22 lead changes.

Charlotte went ahead 93-90 after a Walker reverse layup with 2:49 left. Shumpert tied it with a three with 2:06 to go. After Walker missed inside, Anthony drilled a 15-foot jumper to make it 95-93 with 1:23 left.

After the Knicks forced a turnover, Anthony shot an air ball, resulting in a 24-second violation. But the Knicks got the ball right back. Following a timeout, the Hornets were whistled for a five-second violation for not inbounding the ball with 36.6 seconds to go.

The Knicks didn't capitalize as Shumpert missed a jumper and the Hornets rebounded. But Walker missed a short jumper that Anthony rebounded. He made one foul shot for the final point with eight-tenths of a second left.

Anthony came into the game needing three points for 20,000 and surpassed it on a three-pointer with 7:42 left in the first quarter. Following a timeout, the public address announcer informed the crowd of what he had done, and Anthony waved.

If Anthony stays healthy, he could break the top 30 by the end of the season. Anthony said he doesn't expect to score as much in past years playing in the triangle offense, which is designed to get others involved.

"It doesn't matter for Carmelo what offense you run, he's going to score points," coach Derek Fisher said. "Running a system of offense is for everyone else -- to be able to really do some things on the offensive end and balance our team out in a way that doesn't allow teams to load up on one guy.

"So it's remarkable to think about what he's done in his career so far, but I think he came back in here to not only score more points but to build something special in terms of our team and I think that's really what he's focused on right now."

The Knicks' offense looked good early. They shared the ball, assisting on their first seven baskets and led by as many as 12 in the first quarter.

The good ball movement and balance continued into the second quarter. Anthony's driving layup put the Knicks ahead 45-30 with 4:37 left. They were still up 11 with under two minutes left, but the Hornets finished strong. They ended the half on an 11-2 run to draw within 52-50.