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Carmelo Anthony tackles LeBron, but story is Heat’s bounce-back win over Knicks (VIDEO)

Feb 2, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

lebron carmelo Getty Images

NEW YORK — Late in the third quarter of the Heat’s 15-point win over the Knicks on Saturday, the game was not yet out of hand, and with Miami leading by single digits, Carmelo Anthony wasn’t about to let LeBron James get to the basket for an easy two points in transition.

Anthony wrapped up James and then let him go, causing the reigning MVP to go tumbling to the floor. The ruling was a personal foul as it should have been, with no flagrant called and no hard feelings between the two superstars when all was said and done.

It was a small moment in a greater performance from the Heat, who put together a solid effort on both ends of the floor, but especially defensively in bouncing back from a blowout home loss to the Thunder three days earlier, and beating a Knicks team that had won four straight.

The story was the Heat, not the battle between Anthony and James. And LeBron wanted to make sure we were aware of that when speaking to reporters afterward.

“It’s not the first time I’ve been tackled,” he said. “I don’t know. It shouldn’t be a personal foul, because it’s not a basketball play. But at the same time, he sees me with a full head of steam, he’s just trying to wrap me up. I don’t think he intended for me to hit the ground.”

When pressed on the issue and asked whether or not it should have been a flagrant, James didn’t have any interest in assigning additional significance to one interesting but ultimately meaningless play.

“I’m not going to be caught up in that and try to make that the story of the game,” he said. “The way we played tonight was the story of the game. The way we came out with aggressiveness on both ends of the floor, the way we shared the ball offensively — that’s the story of the game, not that one foul.”

James was magnificent in finishing with 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, but his activeness on the defensive end in grabbing six steals is what truly made life miserable for the Knicks.

The performance was particularly impressive considering the way the Heat lost to Oklahoma City in their previous outing, and Erik Spoelstra noted how James set the tone for his teammates in the days that followed such a demoralizing loss.

“I think this performance started two days ago,’ Spoelstra said. “After the OKC game, typically we would have had a day off. We all came in to own the film, but before practice he was in for an hour and a half in the weight room and then on the court for about 45 minutes drilling, sweating, letting everybody know that [the loss] wasn’t acceptable. And then a full team practice yesterday where he was much like he was tonight. His actions were speaking louder than his words, and I was really pleased to see that go from the practice court on to the game.”

This is the time of the season where the Heat typically would begin to flip the switch, and start the process of regaining focus for another postseason run. The victory over the Knicks could be a starting point, and while the one small moment between two of the game’s biggest stars is of interest, it wasn’t something either of them lingered on for very long — and both were all smiles when discussing it long after the game was finished.

  1. knicksmets - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I don’t get why they gave him free throws after. It wasn’t malicious and he wasn’t shooting

    • reesesteel23 - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Are you serious?…you think he turned on the jets and picked up his dribble 10 feet away from the basket, 1on1 for nothing?…god man…even the biggest hater in the world knows that’s 2 free throws. If it wasnt Lebron, you would not have said a word….and I’m a frickin Thunder fan

      • knicksmets - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Nah i would comment if it was anyone else. God man? What is that supposed to mean. I’m not a hater I’m just confused honestly on the call. Is that a problem for you? People having differnt opinions? Since it happens to be Lebron, does that make me a hater. If it was Deng would you question me on both of my post?

  2. blazermaniac22 - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    He didnt make a play on the ball, and knocked the player to the ground. That is a flagrant foul.

    • knicksmets - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      He didn’t knock him to the ground he wrapped him up to stop the easy layup or dunk and Lebron fell because of his momentum. Not because anthony wrapped him up, and how is that a flagrant people wrap up other players all the time to stop them from scoring. Also if it was a flagrant wouldn’t he be ejected or they would have gotten free throws and the ball, or something. Since that didn’t happen it wasn’t a flagrant in the eyes of the official because they would have called it as such. That still doesn’t answer why he got the two free throws if he made no attempt to shoot the ball.

    • reesesteel23 - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      If it looks like you support Lebron the least bit, ppl throw the rule book out the window…don’t bother

      • knicksmets - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        Like your seem to be doing reesesteel23, I’m just saying if it was a flagrant they should have given him shots and the ball. Plus i still don’t see him in shooting motion he may be preparing to shoot but he didn’t start the shooting motion at least in my opinion.

  3. savvybynature - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    “It’s not the first time I’ve been tackled… it shouldn’t be a personal foul because it’s not a basketball play.”
    James is so soft to complain about this… it wasn’t a particularly hard or dangerous foul. Just shoot your FTs and get over yourself (and btw, is flopping a basketball play, Lebron?)

  4. ranfan12 - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    carmelo failed to wrap him up and lebrons momentum kept him going forward. lebron basic threw himself. carmelo just went with the flow.

    • sportsfan18 - Feb 2, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      hey now, gotta be nice to MeDefenseless…

      he was playing his best D

  5. JMClarkent - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Let that have been Prigioni and Lebron would have been all in his face…

  6. onlyavoice - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    It will not surprise me to see Melo sign with the Heat this summer.

    • ranfan12 - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      what money are they going to sign him with

      • money2long - Feb 2, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        maybe he thinks melo doesn’t need any

    • sportsfan18 - Feb 2, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      It would surprise 99.9% of knowledgeable basketball fans if he were to sign with the Heat this summer…

  7. leahcima1 - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Where’s cantonjerk0. He no longer comes to this blog. I guess he can’t stand the Heat in the kitchen.

  8. ranfan12 - Feb 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    lmfao, lebron gets shoved to the ground by someone his own size and walks away, but take a little contact from melo, and complains about it not being a basketball play. come on man

  9. golfrangeman - Feb 2, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    It was 2 free throws because he was in the act of shooting. He didn’t put the ball back down and he had already picked up his dribble just like any continuation call. You don’t have to get your hands up and/or release the ball to be in the act of shooting

    • belleby123 - Feb 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      It looked like he was in the act of dribbling to me.

  10. sportsfan18 - Feb 2, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Nothing to see here folks… just Melo attempting to play defense and performing as we all expect him to on that side of the ball…

    At least he got back over half court on D for that possession…

  11. antistratfordian - Feb 3, 2014 at 3:17 AM

    Most Tackled Player In NBA History: LeBron James

    Sure, the 80’s and 90’s were rough, but Michael Jordan didn’t know anything about having to deal with this “tactic” every single game. If this happened to MJ all the time the NBA would’ve banned it decades ago.

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