In his best game of the season, Carmelo Anthony drained a game-winning jumper with 4.1 seconds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 101-99 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Against the defending champion Raptors, Anthony led all scorers with 28 points, shooting 10-of-17. 10 of his 28 points were scored in the fourth, including the pull up mid-range jumper to win the game. The possession before, Blazers point guard Damian Lillard tied the game with a long three-point shot.
Anthony, a former 10-time All-Star, is enjoying a comeback season with the Blazers, averaging 16.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, after most organizations and members of the basketball world had considered Anthony washed.
The 43% shooting from the field is along the same averages he normally has, but the 39% from the three-point line is his best since the 2013-2014 season, showing Anthony’s willingness and ability to adjust to the modern NBA.
Since joining the Blazers, Anthony has helped the team get back on track, with an 11-13 record in his time. The Blazers are currently half a game behind the San Antonio Spurs (they’re like The Godfather 2. No matter how old it gets, it’s always going to be around) for the eight seed in the Western Conference.
Last season, the Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. With the level of competition around them, it’s unlikely they reach the Conference Finals. But this team has enough talent to be in the postseason and be a fun agitator for a one seed that tries to coast through the first round. The addition of Anthony helps relieve some of the scoring duties for Lillard and CJ McCollum, while Hassan Whiteside adds rim protection and strong rebounding.