The best player on the floor doesn’t always make the most impactful play on a given night in the NBA, but on Friday, Carmelo Anthony checked both boxes for the New York Knicks. The Charlotte Hornets invaded Madison Square Garden for a post-Thanksgiving showdown and, after 53 minutes of action including an overtime, it was Anthony that preserved the home win for the Knicks with a beautiful turnaround jumper in the closing seconds.
Anthony finished the evening with 35 points (on 14 of 25 shooting), 14 rebounds and five assists, but his biggest contribution came at the end. The talented forward isolated against Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the closing seconds ticked off the clock, but while the defense was solid, Kidd-Gilchrist’s efforts went for naught against one of the league’s best and most ruthless scorers.
The Knicks were not a one-man band on Friday night, as Kristaps Porzingis (16 points, eight rebounds, three blocks) and Courtney Lee (16 points, five assists) contributed in a big way. Still, when it was “winning time” in New York, Carmelo Anthony took the ball in overtime and did what he is paid handsomely to do. Isolation scorers aren’t always the most efficient when it comes to creating offense, but NBA teams want a player like Carmelo Anthony for this moment and he delivered against the Hornets in a big way.