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Carmelo Anthony wraps up scoring title and rests up

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks celebrates a three

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks celebrates a three point basket in the first quarter against the Washington Wizards. (April 9, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

In a season in which Carmelo Anthony vowed to get his teammates more involved, the Knicks star also wound up leading the league in scoring.

Because Kevin Durant decided to sit out Oklahoma City's season finale Wednesday night, Anthony finished at the top of the league's scoring leader board at 28.7 points per game.

Durant averaged 28.1 points and would have needed to score 70 Wednesday night in order to overtake Anthony, who also sat out the Knicks' last game of the season to rest up for the playoffs.

The previous Knick to lead the league in scoring was Bernard King, who averaged 32.9 points in 55 games during an injury shortened 1984-85 season.

"It's a nice individual award, but I know Melo's thinking bigger than the scoring title," coach Mike Woodson said. "His whole thought process this year is trying to get to the finals."

Though Anthony averaged more shots per game (22.2) and fewer assists (2.6) this season than he has in recent years, Woodson said he believes Anthony "learned to trust his teammates" more this season. That's a big reason why the Knicks enter the postseason as the second seed, he said.

"You go back to a lot of the great players," Woodson said. "Until they begin to trust guys around them, they think they can beat a team themselves. I haven't seen too many great players over the years do it themselves."

Anthony appeared to raise his offensive game to a higher level in the month since he had fluid drained from his right knee; in his last 15 games he averaged 32.5 points.

He chose to sit out the final two games to rest once the Knicks locked up the second seed in the Eastern Conference by beating Indiana on Sunday.

New York Sports