WASHINGTON - Carmelo Anthony rediscovered the shooting rhythm he had been looking for and the sight of Jared Dudley helped him find out.
Over the summer, the Wizards' forward called Anthony the most overrated player in the NBA. He later retracted it and apologized but Anthony heard about it and said he circled this game on the calendar.
Anthony played brilliantly and scored 37 points to lead the Knicks to a hard-fought 117-110 road win and spoiled the Wizards' home opener at Verizon Center Saturday night.
"It becomes competitive at that point, you just want to go out there and show what you are made out of," Anthony said. "[This] is one of those nights. It had nothing really to do with him but this was a game that I circled on my calendar. I'll see him three more times."
At the morning shootaround, Anthony made it sound like it would be a little while before he got his stroke back. He came into the game 14-for-43 from the field and then missed his first two shots Saturday night.
But Anthony made his next eight attempts, finished 11-for-18 from the field, and 4-for-5 from three. He hit a huge jumper over Dudley with 1:35 to go that gave the Knicks (2-1) the lead for good.
Anthony grabbed seven rebounds and passed for four assists, and iced the game with four free throws in the last 20.4 seconds.
"There was a composure and a poise to everything that he did," Derek Fisher said. "He got the shots that he wanted when he wanted them. He also made plays to make other people better."
With the score tied in crunch time, Anthony came up with a huge offensive rebound of a Sasha Vujacic air ball. After the officials reviewed it to make sure they got the shot clock right, Anthony got the ball on the left side with Dudley on him.
Anthony said he was just looking to get his space and get his shot off and he knocked down the pull-up jumper. He admitted Dudley's remarks were on his mind.
"I just knew what was said in the offseason," Anthony said. "So that was in the back of my mind."
Second-year guard Langston Galloway added 14 off the bench, and made some enormous plays himself.
He connected on two three-pointers late in the fourth, and hit two foul shots for the final points of the game as the Knicks improved to 2-0 on the road. This win was more impressive than their opener in Milwaukee because they had to grind it out down the stretch.
"It's good that we spoiled two teams' home openers," Anthony said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't get our own home opener, but we'll take it. Today was a big, big win. I know it's early in the season, but this is a big win for us."
Bradley Beal led Washington with 26 points, and John Wall had 25 for the Wizards (2-1).
"This type of game really forces you to either be a team and figure out how to win it or break apart and not be a team," Fisher said. "They definitely showed a lot of teamwork out there."