NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks celebrated their 1973 NBA title team at halftime Friday, and it apparently sparked Carmelo Anthony as he went off in the following quarter to spearhead the Knicks' 101-83 comeback win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Anthony's performance was just as impressive as his two previous outings when he scored 50 points against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, and then 40 points against the Atlanta Hawks the following night.
The 6-foot-7 Anthony, starting at power forward against the much bigger Bucks' frontline, had 41 points (17-of-28 shooting) and 14 rebounds as he shook off a second-quarter shooting slump when he only scored two points.
Anthony came to life in the third quarter as he notched 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including a stretch where he nailed his first seven shots. His third straight game with 40 points or more tied a franchise record.
J.R. Smith wasn't to be outdone, as he added 12 points in the pivotal third quarter, on 4-of-5 shooting. Smith finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bucks held a nine-point lead at halftime, but the Knicks outscored Milwaukee 42-21 in the third quarter to take command.
The Bucks (36-39) were led by Brandon Jennings's 25 points, while J.J. Redick added 18 points while making five 3s.
But the night belonged to the Knicks' revitalized shooters, who turned a paltry 1-of-12 performance from behind the arc in the first half, into a respectable 3-point shooting effort (12-of-36) for the game, including a red-hot 8-of-13 in the third quarter. The Garden faithful probably knew it would be the Knicks' night once Jason Kidd ended the third quarter with a three-quarter-court, 3-point heave at the buzzer.
The Knicks (49-26) have now rolled off 11 straight wins, making them the hottest team in the league right now. They hope this torrid stretch carries over to Sunday's matchup with the Thunder in Oklahoma City.
Anthony tallied 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting in the first quarter as the Knicks and Bucks were deadlocked 19-19 entering the second quarter.
NOTES: Knicks coach Mike Woodson started Anthony at power forward and Tyson Chandler at center, as neither power forward Kenyon Martin (knee) nor reserve big man Marcus Camby (plantar fasciitis) dressed. Martin, who made 10 starts at center in Chandler's absence, is suffering from a sore right knee -- perhaps because he was immediately thrown into the fire after sitting out the first four months of the season as a free agent. ... Neither team shot particularly well in the first quarter, as the Knicks shot 36.4 percent, including 12.5 percent from behind the arc. The Bucks shot 33.3 percent in the period.