Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony finished with 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting, including zero points in the second half, in his return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening. Anthony added five rebounds, but the Thunder lost to the Knicks 111-96 despite New York playing without Kristaps Porzingis (knee).
While Anthony wasn't able to help the Thunder earn a victory against his former team, Anthony was honored pregame with a video tribute by the Knicks organization. He received cheers (mostly) and a standing ovation, but was also booed when the game started and he first touched the ball.
"The video montage caught me by surprise," Anthony said postgame. "...I'd like to thank Scott Perry, Steve Mills, and the organization for doing that and making that gesture. That was big time and, for me, that goes a long way for myself, and it's much appreciated."
After the game, Anthony paid his respects by hugging Porzingis, coach Jeff Hornacek and the rest of the Knicks team.
Respect. pic.twitter.com/neagtvr1rn- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 17, 2017
Anthony was also asked if his return to New York would've been different if Phil Jackson was still with the organization. However, Melo didn't budge, saying he is past that point in his career.
Because the Knicks have played the Thunder twice already this season, the two teams will not meet again until the 2018-19 campaign.