Carmelo Anthony Scores 37 Points to Spoil Washington’s Home Opener


27. Final. 110. 142. 117

The New York Knicks on Halloween night took on the Washington Wizards after losing in disappointing fashion in their home opener.

New York looked to play spoiler to the Washington’s home opener and did just that! It was Carmelo Anthony and his hot-shooting , who grew up just an hour away during his childhood that did the Wizards in.

Head coach Derek Fisher needed to call a quick timeout to start the game after Washington jumped out to an early 8-3 lead three minutes into the game. New York struggled mightily getting back on defense with the speedy John Wall wrecking havoc in transition all game long. Wall finished the game with 25 points and 4 assists.

Anthony got it going in the middle of the opening quarter, scoring ten straight points for New York. Despite Knicks’ superstar getting hot, New York basically just traded baskets with Washington, 10-8 during that stretch. New York’s second unit once again got the Knicks back in the game, finishing the first quarter on a 8-4 run to tie the game up at 29 a piece in a high scoring opening period.

Derrick Williams gave New York their first lead of the night with a three-pointer to start the second quarter but shortly after Washington’s bench started to gain separation, going on a 7-0 run to give the Wizards a 40-37 lead with 8:37 remaining in the second quarter.

With Anthony inserted back into the game after a nice long rest, he continued his hot shooting to propel the Knicks to take a 59-56 lead entering halftime. After missing his first two initial shots, Anthony got red-hot, knocking down his next six attempts. Anthony finished the first half with 18 points on 6/8 shooting.

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Anthony was not the only Knick player shooting well Saturday night, New York shot 52.4% as a whole in the first half. Although…New York’s lack of ability to keep the Wizards in front of them defensively lead to the Knicks fouling A LOT in the first half. New York sent Washington to the charity stripe 20 times in the first half. The Knicks were actually lucky Wall, a 78.9% career free-throw shooter, missed four from the line.

Coming out of halftime, Anthony continued his hot-shooting, knocking down back-to-back three-pointers to give the Knicks a 67-60 lead early in the third quarter.  Anthony made eight straight baskets before finally missing on a jumper. Anthony seemed so upset by the miss that he monsterly blocked Marcin Gortat on the ensuing possession.

Washington though would answer very quickly… going on a 13-4 run in two minutes time… capped off by back-to-back three-pointers, one by each Wizards’ backcourt player, Wall and Bradley Beal. The run tied the game up at 73 a piece with 5:09 remaining in the third quarter. Beal would end the period with a buzzer beating three-pointer to give the Wizards a 90-87 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter; much like most of the night, went back and forth. Beal tried to single-handily will Washington to victory, scoring 11 points of his 26 total points in the fourth quarter. Wall hit a three-pointer with 4:06 remaining in the game to give the Wizards a 104-103 lead.

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Langston Galloway immediately answered with a three-pointer of his own and would go on to hit another clutch three-pointer two minutes later to give New York a 111-106 lead with 1:03 left in the game. Galloway finished the game with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. The rebounds were almost as crucial as the two clutch three-pointers, as Galloway tenaciously grabbed huge rebounds for the Knicks late in the game.

Anthony, fittingly also played the hero on Halloween night, hitting a tough go ahead bucket with the game tied, just before Galloway’s second clutch three-pointer. Anthony would then go on to hit all the crunch time free-throws as well, icing the game at the charity stripe. New York went on to win 117-110, giving the Wizards their first loss of the season and ruining Washington’s home opener.

It was an extremely entertaining, high scoring back and forth game with 16 ties and 13 lead changes. Anthony really took advantage of Washington deciding to not double-team and scored 37 points Saturday night. It was really encouraging to see Anthony being more like himself after shooting just 32.6% from field in the first two games of the season.

Kristaps Porzingis really struggled with fouls Saturday night and Kyle O’Quinn and Lance Thomas made it easy for Fisher to keep the rookie out of the game by playing well. O’Quinn scored ten points in 14 minutes of play, while Thomas came up huge to start the fourth quarter. Thomas finished the game shooting 6/8 from the field for 12 points.

This was a huge win tonight, defeating possibly a top-four team in the Eastern Conference in the Wizards. It was very encouraging to see the Knicks bounce right back up, after losing their own home opener.

Next: Knicks Select Jimmer Fredette in 2015 NBA D-League Draft

The schedule does not get any easier as New York will return home to take on the San Antonio Spurs Monday night. At least when you face the Spurs, you know Gregg Popovich will expose all your weaknesses. Better to expose all your weaknesses early in the season and work on them right?