Carmelo Anthony scores 42 points as Knicks defeat Pelicans

Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony smiles after scoring

Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony smiles after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. (Credit: AP / Jonathan Bachman)

NEW ORLEANS -- Closing games has been a major issue for the Knicks this season, but Carmelo Anthony made sure it wasn't Wednesday night.

Anthony rescued the Knicks from what would have been another painful loss. He scored 13 consecutive points in the fourth quarter and finished with 42 to lead the Knicks to a 98-91 win over the Pelicans.

"It was just a game that I didn't want to see slip away," Anthony said.

It was close to happening after the Knicks let a 13-point fourth-quarter lead disappear. But unlike Tuesday in Memphis when the Knicks squandered a five-point lead with 2:30 to go, they made plays down the stretch.

Anthony scored 13 of the Knicks' last 15 points, and came up with a critical steal with 59.1 seconds remaining. Anthony shot 16-for-29 and had three steals and two blocks to carry the Knicks to just their second win in eight games. They're 21-33 and 31/2 games out of the last playoff spot in the East. "I think we did a great job bouncing back, learning from [Tuesday], just taking our time, executing down the stretch, making plays," Anthony said. "Everybody did their part."

Anthony was the only starter in double figures. J.R. Smith added 19 and Tim Hardaway Jr. 16. Eric Gordon paced the Pelicans (23-30) with 28 points.

Trailing 91-90 with the clock approaching two minutes remaining, Tyson Chandler saved a loose ball from going out of bounds and Anthony picked it up and scored inside to put the Knicks back on top.

The Knicks had a big stop, leading to an Anthony pull-up jumper and a 94-91 lead with 1:14 left. After an Anthony steal on the next trip, he hit a short jump shot to put the Knicks up five with 40.4 seconds to go.

"He delivered," Chandler said.

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday, and the Knicks' front office remains active in pursuing a point guard. Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton are the players the Knicks have been peddling the most.

But Shumpert left in the third quarter with a sprained left knee, and is flying back to New York to be re-evaluated.

"We want to win right now," Chandler said. "We want to make the playoffs. We're going to do everything we can to push forward."

The Knicks were without Amar'e Stoudemire because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. Stoudemire said he didn't want to push it with the Knicks playing four games in five nights.

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