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Carmelo Anthony can join Knicks scoring royalty

Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks. (Getty) Credit: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks. (Getty)

Carmelo Anthony is battling against Kevin Durant for the NBA's scoring lead. If the Knicks star can beat out the Thunder forward by season's end, he'll become just the second player in team history to lead the league in points per game. Here's a look at the five players with the highest single-season averages in a Knicks uniform. (Best season in parentheses)

1. Bernard King
(32.9 ppg in 1984-85)

The first and only Knick to lead the NBA in scoring, easily beat out Larry Bird's 28.7 ppg. It helped his cause when he became the only Knick ever to score 60 points in a game, doing so against the Nets on Christmas Day. The Fort Hamilton High School alumnus' season was limited to 55 games and cut short on March 23 when he tore his right ACL and didn't play again until April 10, 1987.

2. Richie Guerin
(29.5 ppg in 1961-62)

Guerin, a Bronx native, would be atop the leaderboard this season with such a lofty average, but he would have needed "stilts" to catch Wilt Chamberlain's all-time record 50.4 ppg that year. Perhaps Guerin's most memorable scoring effort of the season came on March 2 when he led the Knicks with 39 points. Unfortunately, that was during the same game in which Chamberlain scored an eye-popping 100 points.

3. Patrick Ewing
(28.6 ppg in 1989-90)

The Knicks' all-time leading scorer by more than 9,000 points, Ewing's most impressive scoring season placed him third in the league behind only Michael Jordan (33.6 ppg) and Karl Malone (31.0 ppg). The 1985 top overall pick received the only All-NBA First Team honors of his career after that season. Ewing also averaged 26.6 ppg during the following year, the fourth-best mark in team history.

4. Bob McAdoo
(26.5 ppg in 1977-78)

McAdoo came to the Knicks a season before as the reigning three-time league scoring champion. Though he finished third that season to George Gervin (27.2) and David Thompson (27.1), the 2000 Hall of Fame inductee's scoring was enough to help the Knicks advance as far as the Eastern Conference semifinals before being eliminated by the 76ers in a four-game sweep.

5. Amar'e Stoudemire
(25.3 ppg in 2010-11)

Was it really just two years ago that Stoudemire was scoring 30 points on an almost nightly basis before the Anthony trade? His scoring average sat at 26.1 ppg before the acquisition. Stoudemire's nine straight 30-point games bested Guerin's franchise mark in December and had fans at the Garden chanting "M-V-P" for the then-prized free agent signing.

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