Carmelo Anthony didn’t disappoint in his Knicks debut with 27 points and 10 rebounds as New York defeated the stubborn Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 on Wednesday at an electric Madison Square Garden.
On the third annual Legends Night, when the Knicks honored players such as Earl Monroe at halftime, New York’s newest pearl shined brightest in the fourth quarter with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting.
Amid chants of "Melo!", Anthony’s baseline drive and dunk with 1:17 left gave New York a 106-100 lead. His fadeaway jumper in the lane with 26 seconds to go put the Knicks ahead, 108-102.
Chauncey Billups, who came with Anthony from Denver in Tuesday’s blockbuster trade, had 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds while making 12-of-12 free throws for the Knicks (29-26).
Anthony finished 10-of-25 from the field as the Knicks snapped a four-game losing streak against the Bucks – overall and at home.
Toney Douglas came off the bench to score 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting, and Amar’e Stoudemire had 19 points before fouling out and receiving a technical with one minute left for the Knicks.
Anthony was the first Knick introduced and received a rousing ovation from the Garden faithful after a video featuring the Brooklyn native was shown.
Anthony scored on his second shot, a put-back 2:24 into the game. He left with 4:07 to go in the first quarter after he picked up his second personal foul but returned to start the second quarter with a dunk to give the Knicks a 37-26 lead.
John Salmons scored 27 points for the Bucks (22-35), who fell 4 1/2 games behind Indiana for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.