Carmelo scores 30, leaves with ankle sprain

Melo lights up the Garden, but night ends early after hard fall

12/14/12 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - Carmelo scores 30, leaves with ankle sprainAs he has for most of this season, Carmelo Anthony came out of the gate in flames on Thursday night against the Lakers, draining a trio of early threes and finishing the first quarter with 22 points - the highest point total that any player has scored in any quarter this season, and just two points shy of the Knicks' franchise record (held by Allan Houston and Willis Reed). Melo was simply unstoppable, scoring in a number of different ways - pulling up from three, working the mid-range jump shot, and driving to the hoop for emphatic slams and tough and-one's.

There was, however, one way to stop Carmelo from embarrassing the Lake Show in the world's most famous arena...

In the third quarter, Melo once again blew by his defender and was en route to the rim, but Dwight Howard decided to intervene. Dwight went up and gave a hard foul to Melo's upper body, putting him parallel to the ground with a long way to fall. His knees were bent, so much of his body weight fell on his left leg, twisting his ankle and knee. The hearts of Knicks fans sank as they watched their MVP writhing on the floor in pain. He was able to get up and take his free throws, but left the game and headed to the locker room at the next dead ball.

He finished the game with 30 points in only 23 minutes.

Anthony's diagnosis is just about a best case scenario, as he has a sprained ankle and is generally believed to be doubtful for Saturday's game against the Cavaliers. The fact that he has yet to be ruled out is encouraging, as it suggests that the injury is not serious at all.

If Carmelo is sidelined, the Knicks have proven that they won't be debilitated by the absence of their best player. The Knicks already beat the Heat - the reigning NBA champions - while Carmelo was out with a laceration on his finger, so they know they can compete with anyone even without their best player. Carmelo's absence would mean more minutes for JR Smith and Steve Novak, who have both been playing great over the past few games.

Carmelo shouldn't be out long, but as a Knicks fan, I'd really love to have him back on Monday night, when the Knicks will attempt to avenge their blowout loss to the Rockets and prove to Jeremy Lin that leaving New York was a big mistake.
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