SU ATHLETICS – Carmelo Anthony returned to the Carrier Dome and delighted a "pro-Melo" crowd with 23 points but his New York Knicks were defeated by gthe Philadelphia 76ers in an exhibition game, 98-90.
Anthony was the consensus National Freshman of the Year and an All-American in 2002-03 as a freshman at Syracuse. More importantly, he contributed to the program's only NCAA championship and earned most outstanding performer of the 2003 Final Four.
"The first half was a little slow for us and we didn't pick up until the third quarter and when we came up the crowd really got involved. Anthony said." It was just good to be back playing in the Dome again because I've had a lot of memories in here."
Ironically, Anthony entered the game unbeaten in the Carrier Dome. The Orange were 17-0 his one year with the club and he also owned an NBA exhibition-game victory with the Denver Nuggets, who selected him in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft.
Anthony scored the first two points for the Knicks to open the game, sinking a layup within the first minute of play. The Knicks' lead didn't last long as the 76ers pulled away at the end of the first quarter, 26-23. Philadelphia extended its lead by as much as 18 points at the end of the first half. Anthony had eight points and four rebounds at the intermission.
The Knicks began their climb back in the third quarter, led by Anthony and Raymond Felton, who combined for 21 points in the period. New York closed in on the 76ers lead and trailed by only nine heading into a time out with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
New York managed to pull within two at one point before the 76ers regained control and secured the triumph.
Anthony and Felton led the Knicks offense with 23 points a piece, while Jason Richardson led the 76ers with 23 points.