New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - With the New York Knicks mired in a five- game losing streak and playing without their second-leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony decided to take matters into his own hands.
The result was the most prolific scoring performance in franchise history, a 62-point outburst that carried the Knicks to a 125-96 blowout win over the Charlotte Bobcats and wowed the Madison Square Garden crowd.
Anthony went 23-of-35 overall from the field, 6-of-11 from 3-point range and a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line in breaking Bernard King's previous club standard of 60 points set on Christmas Day of 1984.
"It was just one of those zones you go into," said Anthony. "Only a certain group of people know what that zone feels like."
The effort was also the largest by an individual at the current Madison Square Garden, as well as the highest point total in the NBA since Kobe Bryant poured in 65 in a Lakers' win over Portland on Mar. 16, 2007.
Bryant also had held the record at the existing MSG, a 61-point display against the Knicks on Feb. 2, 2009.
"That was the best performance the Garden has ever seen. I'm just glad a Knick has that record again," Knicks center Tyson Chandler remarked.
J.R. Smith finished a distant second among Knicks players with 14 points and Raymond Felton added 11 in New York's first game without forward Andrea Bargnani, who tore a ligament in his left elbow during Wednesday's home setback to Philadelphia.
Al Jefferson paced the Bobcats with 25 points and nine rebounds. Chris Douglas-Roberts had 14 points for Charlotte, which came in having won two in a row despite leading scorer Kemba Walker sitting out with a sprained ankle.
"He's one of the best scorers in the world," Jefferson said. "Melo took it to another level."
Anthony was on fire right from the start, knocking down a pair of threes and dropping in eight points as the Knicks opened the game with a 12-4 run. He buried 8-of-10 shot attempts during a 20-point first quarter in which New York was ahead by as many as 10 before ending the period with a 30-21 lead.
"Coming into the game, for some reason I just had a different type of focus," said Anthony.
It was more of the same in the second quarter, as Anthony hit on 7-of-11 field goal tries in tallying 17 more points that enabled the Knicks to extend the margin.
The star forward led New York on a 12-4 burst midway through the period that lengthened its advantage to 50-38, then later capped his incredible first half by sinking a half-court shot at the buzzer that sent the Knicks into the break owning a commanding 67-46 advantage.
With Anthony doing most of the damage, New York shot a sizzling 63.6 percent over the initial two quarters.
Anthony didn't cool down after the intermission either, racking up 19 additional points on a 7-of-9 success rate in the third quarter as the Knicks continued to pull away.
He eclipsed the 50-point mark for the first time in his career on a fastbreak finger-roll layup off a Tim Hardaway Jr. steal with 3:54 remaining in the frame, with the basket staking New York to a insurmountable 89-60 lead.
Head coach Mike Woodson allowed Anthony a chance to break King's mark with the outcome already decided in the fourth quarter. The record-setting shot came on a banked-in short jumper with 7:23 to go, after which Woodson called time out and Anthony headed to the bench amidst a thunderous ovation from the home crowd.
Anthony added 13 rebounds to become the first NBA player with at least 55 points and 10 boards in a game since LeBron James did so with Cleveland in March 20, 2005 ... The Knicks went 14-of-27 on 3-point tries, with Smith hitting 3-of-4 attempts from beyond the arc ... Douglas-Roberts finished 4- of-5 on 3-point shots ... Knicks reserve center Jeremy Tyler had a season-best eight points in 22 minutes in an expanded role due to Bargnani's injury.