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NBA: Knicks’ Anthony scores 62 points

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NEW YORK — The New York Knicks, with forward Carmelo Anthony scoring a career-high and franchise-record 62 points, finally won a game during their current eight-game homestand as they demolished the Charlotte Bobcats 125-96 on Friday night.

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The Knicks (16-27) were able to snap their five-game losing streak — including the last three at the Garden — due mainly to Anthony. The All-Star’s 62 points were the most points ever scored in the current edition of the Garden.

Anthony was torrid from the start as he notched the franchise’s single-quarter high with 20 points in the opening stanza, only to top that by finishing the first half with a league-best 37 points.

It was the fourth time that Anthony surpassed the 50-point mark, en route to his career-high showing. His performance broke small forward Bernard King’s mark of 60 points by a Knick and Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant’s record of 61 points by any player on the Garden floor.

Although he didn’t register an assist, Anthony wasn’t a one-dimensional player, as he also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. And while Anthony was the main offensive attraction, making nearly the rest of the roster obsolete (the supporting cast scored 63 points) he did get help from shooting guard J.R. Smith, who added 14 points (5-for-9 shooting), four assists and two steals and from point guard Raymond Felton, who finally shook his recent slump by notching 11 points, five assists and just one turnover.

The Knicks as a whole were hot, shooting 55.6 percent from the field, including 51.9 percent in 3-pointers.

Head coach Mike Woodson was impressed with not only Anthony but the supporting cast as well.

“Tonight was just one of those special nights where he (Anthony) got it going and everything he threw up was going in. Everyone filled in and did what they were supposed to do, but Melo was the main reason tonight,” said Woodson. “But I thought the young guys played very well tonight, too. Guys are injured right now, so you just don’t know how the young guys are going to step up. But guys like (center) Cole (Aldrich) and (power forward) Jeremy (Tyler) contributed right away and stepped up. It was nice to see.”

Charlotte (19-26) was led by center Al Jefferson’s 25 points and nine rebounds, while guards Jannero Pargo and Ramon Sessions registered 11 and 12 points, respectively. Reserve swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts added 14 points. The Bobcats shot a respectable 48.7 percent from the floor, but Anthony’s torrid shooting obviously overshadowed that statistic.

The Knicks shook their early malaise during the eight-game homestand to take a commanding 67-46 halftime lead over the Bobcats. Anthony had 37 points — an NBA season high in the first half — on 15-of-21 shooting from the field in 22 minutes. Woodson, though, was so locked in on trying to break the schneid that he sheepishly admitted he didn’t even know how hot Anthony was.

“I didn’t even know what the record was. I wasn’t caught up in it, but I was loving what I was seeing. I was actually thinking about getting him out of there (late in the third quarter) because we have a game on Sunday, so I was happy when he hit that last shot so I could take him out. It worked out nicely,” said Woodson, adding it was ultimately fun to see Anthony in action. “He was shooting it so easy and making shots from all over the place. ... I’ve been in that position a few times over the last two years with Melo, so I elected to let him go. He didn’t complain about (fatigue), so we just said ‘let’s go.’”

The Knicks shot 63.6 percent from the field, including 43.2 percent on 3-pointers, in the opening half and hope to carry that into their next game.

Up next for New York is a visit from the Bryant-less Lakers, Sunday afternoon.

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