Carmelo Anthony got hot in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 99-94 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, helping L.A. to chalk up their first win of the week with 24 points.
Anthony rarely missed on Wednesday, shooting 8-for-12 (66.7%) from the field, including 5-for-6 (83.3%) from downtown. He also made three of his four free throw attempts (75%), ending the night with a team-high +15.
After the game, Anthony struggled to explain why he erupted on the offensive end against the Blazers.
“It’s a good feeling. Things are just clicking. Things are going the right way,” the 37-year-old forward said.
“Everything feels like it’s aligned. And it’s not just in the game. I mean, the whole day just felt… I was floating today. I don’t know why. But it was just one of those days. You wake up, you feel good. Maybe I’m rested from the long road trip. That could have helped too.
“But also understanding the implications of our games now, that we have to step up and we have to go try to win these games.”
But Anthony doesn’t think his brilliant performance had anything to do with LeBron James’ absence forced by irritation in the four-time NBA champion’s knee.
“No, my role doesn’t change regardless of who’s in, who’s here, and who’s not,” he said. “I’m still the same vocal guy on the court and in the locker room. I’m still the same guy. I know the roles may change a little bit on the court, but outside of that, I’m still the same person whether Bron is here or not (laughs).
“I still have to be that vocal guy. I still have to be the guy that talks out there. The guy that watches film with the guys. Just being me, I don’t think I can change that.”
Anthony laughs at question about his dunk off Russell Westbrook’s assist
Not only did Anthony float on Wednesday, he quite literally went flying in the fourth quarter of the clash. Russell Westbrook sent a lob pass to Anthony, who lost Ben McLemore with a swift turnaround, rolled toward the basket, and ended the play with a two-handed dunk to give back the lead to L.A.
“That’s not in the playbook (laughs),” the veteran forward commented on the bucket. “That’s just a read me and Russ always try to connect on. I just saw the defense lifted and once I gave him the look he knew to throw that.”
“I’m not supposed to be able to jump no more? I play basketball, man. So whatever it is, if it’s a lob, if it’s a bounce pass. Whatever it is I just try to go get it. But that’s something that I’ve been doing probably my whole career that spin lob. So it’s just in that of having that connection with Russ or whoever’s throwing that pass.”
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