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Carmelo Anthony has his own Zen moment, finds his shot

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after sinking a three-point shot against the Denver Nuggets in the second half of an NBA game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - On Nov. 10, Phil Jackson approached Carmelo Anthony after a morning shootaround at the Garden before a game against the Hawks and decided to talk a little basketball.

The Knicks went out and lost. And then lost their next two games. But coincidentally or not, Anthony since then has found something that had been missing: his shot.

On Friday, Anthony scored 46 points in a heartbreaking two-point loss to Utah. On Sunday, Anthony scored 28 as the Knicks (3-8) snapped a seven-game losing streak with a win over the Nuggets.

Going into Tuesday night's visit to Milwaukee to face the Bucks, Anthony has made 20 of his last 27 shots. In the last three games, Anthony is 36-for-57 (63 percent).

Score one for the Zen Master?

"It didn't help me in that way -- as far as putting the ball in the basket," Anthony said Monday after practice. "I was just not making shots for whatever reason that was. And it seems like since that talk the ball started going in. I wouldn't say that's the reason the shots are being made now. I have my reasons why the shots wasn't going in and I just made that adjustment."

Asked what the adjustment was, Anthony said: "I'll keep that to myself. It was just technique, mechanics. That's it."

Still, Anthony said he is getting more comfortable with the triangle offense and his role in it.

"In my mindset, I'm thinking about it as if it's any offense," he said. "Go out there and still play my game within the system that's being implemented. I'm still learning the system. I'm still getting better at it. Each day I'm still challenging myself to figure some things out. I know it's going to take some time, but as of right now I'm becoming more comfortable as the days go on."

Of the talk with Jackson, Anthony said: "We had a long conversation. I won't go into details exactly what we talked about. But we had a great conversation, a very positive conversation and it gave me some clarity whether it was in the system, whether it was things I should do out there for myself, whether it was things I should do out there for the players, for my teammates. The conversation -- I took it extremely well."

Knicks coach Derek Fisher said he appreciated Jackson's decision to approach Anthony.

"I didn't ask Phil to talk to him," he said. "I think Phil felt it was a good time to pull him to the side and talk to him about a number of things, not just his shooting percentage. So of course, I view it as a major positive to have that type of basketball pedigree a few doors down that can offer advice, suggestions, clarity, anything that can help us be successful. I'd rather have it than not have it."

Notes & quotes: Andrea Bargnani practiced for the first time since straining his hamstring in the Knicks' preseason opener and could makes his season debut on Saturday against the 76ers. "I can't wait," Bargnani said . . . Iman Shumpert, who missed Sunday's game with a strained right hip, will test his injury during Tuesday's shootaround.

New York Sports