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Melo Delivering More While Playing Less

Only three games have been played by the New York Knicks in their 82-game NBA regular season and it is likely too early for any conclusions to be drawn about much.

The Knicks have surprised NBA observers by winning two of their first three games to start the 2014-15 season.

Early in the season, an interesting trend is emerging involving the Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

New Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has rested Anthony during the early part of the final quarter of the past two Knicks game, with the move playing positive dividends.

Thursday night, Anthony was on the bench until 7:34 was left on the clock. He came into the game with New York leading by six and scored nine points. His last two were a jumper that sealed the win over LeBron James with only 26 second remaining in regulation.

Sunday night, Anthony entered the fourth quarter with 8:25 left to play and hit two jumpers in less than a minute.

He then scored on a jumper from the elbow and put New York up for good.

Following the win, Fisher said it was important that a player with the ability to finish games like Anthony, needs to have the energy level to do that  and resting him early in the fourth gives him that level when it is needed later in the game.

Fisher has said that since the preseason he wanted to use Anthony correctly this season.

Over the last two games, Anthony has averaged 34.5 minutes. Last since he averaged 38.7 minutes, which was a career high. He played 35 minutes or more in 62 of the 77 games he played last season for the Knicks.

Last season, Anthony shot 48% during the first quarter, 49.3% during the second and 45% during the third, but during the final quarter only 38%.

This season is just three games old but Anthony is hitting 54.5% of his shots during the final quarter and averaging a minute less of playing time during that all important final quarter.

In New York’s win on Sunday night, Anthony set a huge milestone by scoring his 20,000th point.

He became the 40th player in the NBA to score 20,000 and joins 7 other active players who have scored 20,000 or more.

Tom Chambers is the only member of the 20,000-point club that is Hall of Fame eligible but not enshrined.

In just a few games, Anthony will pass both Antawn Jamison who has 20,042 and Chambers who has 20,049.

Anthony also became the sixth youngest player to score 20,000. The youngest was LeBron James who was 28 years old and 17 days when he scored his 20,000th point.

Following the game, Anthony said he was humbled to join the 20,000 point club and added that there were many more to follow.



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