NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high and franchise-record 62 points, most at the current Madison Square Garden, and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Bobcats 125-96 on Friday night to stop a five-game losing streak.
Anthony made 23 of 35 shots, one when he leapt from halfcourt to beat the halftime buzzer, and even added 13 rebounds in the NBA’s highest-scoring performance this season.
Anthony had 56 after three quarters, bettering Kevin Durant’s previous season high of 54, and stayed in for the first few minutes of the fourth to break Bernard King’s Knicks record of 60 points and Kobe Bryant’s arena record of 61, set five years ago.
It was easily the highlight of the season for Anthony, on pace to miss the playoffs for the first time in his career and facing frequent questions about his future with the team as he heads into free agency this summer.
That was all on hold for one night, the focus simply on Anthony’s amazing scoring.
He easily passed his previous career best of 50 points and possibly could’ve even passed 70 or more had the game been close. Instead, he checked out for good after breaking the records when he banked in a short jumper with 7:24 to play.
Al Jefferson had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, snapping his streak of four straight 20-10 games. Charlotte had won two in a row, holding division leaders Toronto and the Los Angeles Clippers to an average of 93 points.
Raptors 104, 76ers 95
PHILADELPHIA — Kyle Lowry had 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers.
DeRozan scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including seven straight early in the period as the Raptors opened a double-digit lead.
Lowry grabbed his 10th rebound late in the fourth, continuing a string of strong games he’s had for the Atlantic Division leaders. He’s a Philadelphia native and played at Villanova.
The Raptors moved to .500 on the road (11-11) and are 22-20 overall. But the other four teams in the division all have losing records, including Philadelphia, so they’ve been good enough to sit atop the standings.
Spencer Hawes had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers. Michael Carter-Williams scored 20.
Thunder 101, Celtics 83
BOSTON — NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant missed his first game of the season and Serge Ibaka scored 21 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a victory over the Boston Celtics.
It was the Western Conference-leading Thunder’s sixth straight victory.
Jeremy Lamb came off the bench to score 19 points, and former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins had nine rebounds for Oklahoma City. The Thunder were playing with neither Durant nor Westbrook for the first time since the franchise moved from Seattle in 2008.
Jeff Green scored 16 points and Gerald Wallace scored 12 of his 13 points in the first half, before the Thunder pulled away with a 17-2 run in the third quarter. Rajon Rondo had eight assists and five points in his fifth game since returning from reconstructive knee surgery.
Spurs 105, Hawks 79
ATLANTA — Tim Duncan had 17 points and 16 rebounds in another dominant performance against Atlanta and the San Antonio Spurs coasted to a win over the short-handed Hawks.
Duncan, who blocked four shots, and point guard Tony Parker didn’t return after leaving the game with the Spurs leading 77-50 late in the third quarter. The Spurs used backup players in the fourth.
Boris Diaw led the Spurs with 21 points. Patty Mills, who made six of eight 3-pointers, had 18 points.
The Hawks, already short-handed without Pero Antic and DeMarre Carroll, lost point guard Jeff Teague to a left ankle sprain in the second period. Teague didn’t return.
Paul Millsap’s 15 points led the Hawks, who set a season scoring low.
Magic 114, Lakers 105
ORLANDO, Fla. — Tobias Harris had 28 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to lift the Orlando Magic.
Arron Afflalo added 23 points and Jameer Nelson scored 22 as the Magic won for only the second time in their last 14 games. Rookie Victor Oladipo had 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
Pao Gasol led Los Angeles with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers, playing the sixth game of a seven-game road trip, got 19 points and 14 assists from Kendall Marshall and 17 points from Jodie Meeks, but ran out of gas in the third quarter.
Pelicans 103, Pistons 101
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Eric Gordon’s driving layup with 1.9 seconds left gave the New Orleans Pelicans a victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Detroit blew a 16-point third-quarter lead, and the Pistons inexplicably didn’t call time after Gordon’s winning shot.
Instead, Brandon Jennings rushed a shot from midcourt that missed while coach Maurice Cheeks stood yelling for a timeout.
Detroit wasted a 28-point performance from Jennings and 21 points and 20 rebounds from Andre Drummond. Anthony Morrow scored 21 points for New Orleans, which won for only the second time in 11 games.
Cavaliers 93 Bucks 78
CLEVELAND — Anderson Varejao scored 16 points and Kyrie Irving had 10 points and 10 assists, leading lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Varejao scored eight points to spark a 12-2 run that gave Cleveland a 64-46 lead late in the third quarter. Irving, named an All-Star starter for the first time Thursday, had seven assists in the second half.
Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 13 points. Brandon Knight, who leads the Bucks with a 15.9 average, was held to eight points and went 4 of 12 from the field.
The Bucks (8-34) have the worst record in the league and have lost 10 of 11.
Tristan Thompson scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds while Dion Waiters added 13 points for Cleveland. The Cavaliers lost the first two games of a five-game homestand after going 3-2 on a West Coast trip.