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A look at NBA’s top moments at Madison Square Garden after Stephen Curry breaks 3-point record in New York

December 16, 2021

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Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry etched his name in the history books on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. Curry became the NBA‘s all-time leader in made threes as he connected on his 2,974th career triple, passing Ray Allen’s career mark.

Speaking of Madison Square Garden, it’s a building that has seen some of the greatest moments that the basketball world has had to offer — even if the Knicks have not provided all of them. The NBA has always had a special allure inside the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden and there have been many special moments on the hardwood.

Here’s a look at some of the greatest moments in NBA history that have taken place at Madison Square Garden, starting with the most recent one:

Stephen Curry sets record for career 3-pointers

Curry broke the record at the 7:33 record of the first quarter of Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. The Warriors sharpshooter connected on a spot up three over Knicks guard Alec Burks with everyone from Allen to Reggie Miller to his father, Dell Curry, in attendance at MSG.

The Knicks called a timeout after the shot to let Curry savor the moment at MSG.

Michael Jordan’s ‘Double-Nickel’ game

The list is endless when it comes to Michael Jordan’s remarkable performances over the course of his Hall of Fame career. However, Jordan’s infamous “double-nickel” is right up at the top of the list. Jordan was fresh off of returning to the NBA after a brief retirement to try his hand at a baseball career.

On March, 28, 1995, Jordan scored 55 points on 21-of-37 shooting and drilled three of his four attempts from three in a 113-111 win over the New York Knicks. The Bulls legend was able to get just about any shot he wanted, despite being guarded by John Starks all night long. 

John Starks dunks over Jordan

Speaking of Michael Jordan, he also had one of his not-so-fine moments at Madison Square Garden. In Game 2 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals, the Knicks held a 91-88 lead in the final minute, but knew that they still needed to put the Bulls away. Knicks star Patrick Ewing came over to set a pick for John Starks and he immediately took off toward the basket.

Starks ended up dunking over Jordan and Horace Grant in one of the most iconic slams that anyone will ever see. Starks’ dunk proved to be huge and the Knicks were able to win Game 2. The series ultimately went in the Bulls’ favor, but Starks’ dunk is a play that will never be forgotten.

Carmelo Anthony drops MSG record 62 points

Madison Square Garden has seen every star player that the NBA has had to offer over the years come through its doors. Lucky for the Knicks, one of their own, Carmelo Anthony, currently wears the crown for the most points scored inside the world’s most iconic arena in a single game.

On Jan. 24, 2014, Anthony scored 62 points in a 125-96 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Anthony was truly in the zone as he drilled 23 of his 35 shots from the field, including six coming from beyond the arc. 

Prior to Anthony’s 62-point outing, the previous mark stood at 61 points and that was set by Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. On Feb. 2, 2009, Bryant absolutely went off on 19-of-31 shooting, which included a trio of threes and a 20-of-22 clip from the free-throw line. What made Bryant set the new Madison Square Garden record even more impressive is the fact that he only played in the arena once per season.

Bryant held the Madison Square Garden scoring record for 10 seasons before James Harden tied it with a 61-point performance on January, 23, 2019. Harden connected on 17 of his 38 field goal attempts while also securing 15 rebounds in a 114-110 Houston Rockets win over the Knicks.

Reggie Miller scores eight points in nine seconds

The Knicks faithful weren’t exactly the biggest Reggie Miller fans to begin with, but Miller became public enemy No. 1 for one of the most impressive late-game performances that the sports world has ever seen. On May 7,1995, the Knicks were attempting to put away the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Miller had other ideas as he managed to score eight points in the final nine seconds to give the Pacers a 107-105 win. 

Miller nailed a three off of an inbounds pass to start off the run. Just seconds later, Greg Anthony fell down as he was attempting to secure the inbounds pass and Miller was able to get the ball. Miller stepped back and connected on one of the most improbable threes you’ll ever see. Just seconds later, John Starks missed both free throws and Miller was fouled. Miller made those final two free throws to lift the Pacers to victory. It was easily one of the most jaw-dropping moments in NBA history.

Willis Reed plays hurt, wills Knicks to NBA title in 1970

This was one of the most gutsy performances that Madison Square Garden has ever seen. During the 1970 NBA Finals between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, Willis Reed was really banged up. He missed Game 6 of the series due to a torn thigh muscle and it wasn’t looking likely that he’d be able to play in Game 7.

However, Reed emerged from the locker room for Game 7 and suited up for the game. Reed connected on his first two shots, which ended up being his only points of the game. Still, the Knicks managed to come away with a 113-99 win in Game 7 and gave the team its first NBA title in franchise history.

Larry Johnson’s iconic four-point play

This has to be up there with Miller’s performance in terms of the greatest basketball accomplishments at Madison Square Garden. In Game 3 of the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals, the Knicks found themselves trailing the Pacers 91-88 in the final seconds. On an inbounds play, Charlie Ward nearly had his pass tipped before Larry Johnson secured the ball. Johnson had big man Antonio Davis guarding him on the perimeter.

After a few head fakes, Johnson leaned into Davis and connected on an improbably three. The officials counted the basket and called a foul on Davis. Johnson ended up hitting the free throw and won the game 92-91. Once again, drama and Madison Square Garden went hand-in-hand.

Honorable mentions

We need to once again specify that, because these moments all came from the NBA, the Big East Tournament is not included. The Big East Tournament was nearly as synonymous with MSG as the Knicks. In somewhat recent memory, Syracuse’s six-overtime win against UConn in 2009 takes the cake, but the conference tournament has had multiple memorable moments at the arena (including Kemba Walker’s step-back winner).

Secondly, in February of 2012, Linsanity took place. Jeremy Lin was on fire and averaged 27.2 points during the stretch.



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