Carmelo Anthony missed the biggest shot of the Knicks’ 101-96 loss to the Nuggets on Sunday at the Garden when he was too strong on a potential game-tying three-pointer with 11.3 seconds left.
The good news for the Knicks is that Anthony returned to the court after missing a game because of left knee soreness and said he’s not looking to shut it down anytime soon.
“Today it wasn’t that sore,” said Anthony, who scored 21 points. “I thought that the couple days off helped. It wasn’t as sore as it was in the past.”
Anthony, who shot 7-for-19, added seven assists and six rebounds. He tied Kristaps Porzingis to lead the Knicks in scoring and also played 20 seconds more than the 20-year-old rookie (34:53 to 34:33). Anthony missed Friday’s loss to Memphis after playing more than 40 minutes at Detroit the night before.
Soreness in Anthony’s surgically repaired knee led to an MRI on Friday that showed no structural damage.
“It’s not going to heal in a week or a couple days or two weeks,” Anthony said. “What I had done . . . is going to take time to heal. I wanted to get an MRI for my own sake, my own psyche just to make sure what I was feeling was nothing structural. It was just general soreness and that’s all it was.
“I’ve talked to everybody I’ve needed to talk to. The technical staff, other people who’ve been in my situation and had this same procedure, other doctors and just trying to get advice for what I’m dealing with. Everybody says it’s part of the recovery, it’s part of the rehab. In most situations, I don’t think people would have that load that I’m actually putting on. So for me, it’s come out and play, take a day off here, take a day off there, see what happens.”
The Knicks have one more game before the All-Star break against Washington on Tuesday. Anthony will attend next weekend’s All-Star festivities in Toronto and play in Sunday’s game, but vowed to continue rehabbing the knee even during the break.
“Every single day,” he said.
Anthony appeared to have a clean look at the potential tying three as the Knicks decided not to call a timeout after Porzingis grabbed a defensive rebound with 18.9 seconds left.
“I thought I did,” Anthony said. “I was a little off balance, though. But that’s kind of been the last week or so. Kind of the shot just don’t feel right right there. Off balance a little bit. Trying to find that rhythm. I feel like I got a good look at it. Almost went in, so I’ll take that rather in that situation calling the timeout and letting the defense set . . . I got the look I wanted. I just don’t think I was physically on balance. Mechanically, everything’s off. When you’re dealing with a knee, come back dealing with an ankle [injury], mechanically, everything is just off. I can feel it when I’m out there as far as the rhythm, mechanically shooting the ball. It’s not aligned for me right now. I got to find that alignment and just keep working at it. I missed a wide-open layup today. I don’t know how I missed that. I missed chippers. These are shots I know will go in, so I’m not too concerned about that.”