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ATLANTA (AP) – Carmelo Anthony looked like he was all set a few seasons ago.

Now he is part of a truly exclusive club in the NBA.

Welcome to the Top 10, Melo.

Anthony scored 14 runs on Monday-evening in Portland’s 123-114 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, passing Elvin Hayes for 10th place on the scoreboard with 27,318.

“Being in the top 10 all-time top 10 is a special moment,” said Anthony, who is in his 18th NBA season and turning 37 before the month is up.

Anthony drove past Hayes early in the second quarter, hit a 3-pointer while being fouled by Danilo Gallinari, and hit the free throw to complete a four-point play.


Anthony was fully aware of how many points it took to beat Hayes.

“I knew this moment,” he said. “I didn’t know those other moments – 15, 13, 11. But 10 is something I knew.”

It appeared that Anthony was on his way to forced retirement after playing just 10 games during the 2018/19 season.

He said goodbye to Houston, was renounced by Chicago, and didn’t come into contact with Portland until the following season was several weeks old.

Although he didn’t play a game for over a year, Anthony found new life and a new role with the Trail Blazers.

A starter all his career, he’s now coming off the couch playing a supporting role for younger stars, players who still look up to him, such as Damian Lillard.

“Being in the top 10 with a very special performance,” said Lillard. ‘It’s probably a bit more special for him. Many people counted him down and tried to finish him off. “

During his time with the Trail Blazers, Anthony has passed nine players on the scoreboard.

He eliminated Alex English, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek and Paul Pierce last season. He’s knocked out Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and now Hayes this season.

Next up for Anthony: Moses Malone with 27,409 points.

Melo also has a good chance of catching him by the end of the regular season.

“The fact that Melo is absent for a year and coming back makes it even more remarkable,” said Portland coach Terry Stotts. “I always appreciate greatness, whether it’s a player I coach against or against. Melo is a great player. He is a Hall of Fame player. “

Lillard went on and on about what a pleasure it was to have Anthony as a teammate, challenging those who have described him over the years as a selfish player who was never good enough to lead his teams – Denver and New York in particular – to a championship.

“I value him more as a friend than a teammate, and I really appreciate him as a teammate,” said Lillard. “I think that really appeals to the kind of person he is.”

Then Stotts Anthony presented a match ball in the locker room.

“We have to recognize milestones,” said the coach. ‘This is a big one. Top 10 of all time. That is amazing. “

After his teammates finished clapping, Anthony said, “A few years ago I didn’t think I would be right now. I was out of the league for whatever reason. I’m back. I’ve held on. I’m stayed strong, I stayed true to myself and now I’m in the top 10. “

He’s not finished yet.

“I still enjoy the game,” said Anthony. “I still love the game. I still approach the game the same way.”

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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