Anthony scored 39 points, his best effort since coming to New York, and the Knicks pulled out a 113-106 overtime victory to snap a six-game losing streak.
Despite missing a potential game-winner at the end of regulation, there was no panic from Anthony or his Knick teammates. Instead, it was the Orlando Magic who lost their poise in overtime, Dwight Howard fouling out in the extra session and then picked up his NBA-leading 17th technical foul..
"I said that. That's how I felt, that's how we felt as a team, that it was a must win for us," Anthony said. "We, as a team, backed it up tonight."
Amare Stoudemire had 20 points for the Knicks, who won for just the second time in 11 games and inched closer to their first playoff berth since 2004.
The Knicks improved to 8-12 since acquiring Anthony from Denver. Though the questions about the deal have grown louder as the Knicks struggle, the All-Star forward showed why the team wanted him by scoring 33 points after halftime.
"Carmelo helped, he was on fire out there." Stoudemire said. "They had no answer for him, and then we played great defensively, we got after it, chasing down loose balls, really, really showing the effort to want to win and it showed tonight."
The Eastern Conference playoff race continues to tighten with nine games left in the regular season. The Conference leading Chicago Bulls lost to the Philadelphia Sixer's Monday night in their first home loss since Jan. 18 against Charlotte.
The Heat have won five straight and as they prepare to play 6 of their final 9 games against teams who will not make the playoffs.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.