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Carmelo Anthony overtakes Kevin Durant in NBA scoring race

It’s hard to put into words the type of run that New York Knicks’ superstar Carmelo Anthony has been on as of late, especially the last four games where Anthony has averaged 41.8 points per game.

‘Melo’s heroics haven’t just resulted in the Knicks being on a 12-game win streak, but individually Anthony is pursuing a goal of his own.

Apr 7, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) dunks the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (4) and Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

His 36-point performance during Sunday’s victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder has moved ‘Melo past Kevin Durant in the race for the NBA scoring title.

Anthony’s recent hot streak means that Durant officially is in danger of losing the scoring title for the first time in three years. ‘Melo is now leading the NBA with a 28.44 points per game average, slightly ahead of Durant’s 28.35.

For Anthony to win his first career scoring title, he must keep up the pace for six more games.

Three of those games will be at Madison Square Garden against the Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks, while three will be on the road against the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Bobcats.

Anthony has played 12 games on the season against those opponents and has averaged 27.8 points. That is a bit deceiving though as a six-point effort when ‘Melo was injured and left the game against the Cavs on March 4 brings that average down.

Durant on the other hand has five games remaining and it is unclear if Thunder head coach Scott Brooks may elect to rest his stars a game or two down the stretch to prepare for the playoffs.

The Thunder’s next three games are on the road against the Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers. The Thunder then finish up at home against the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks.

To date, Durant has played 12 games against those opponents and has averaged 27.4 points on the season.

The opportunity for ‘Melo to win the scoring title is certainly within reach and with the roll he is on, you have to like his chances.

However even if he captures the crown, Anthony would be the first to tell you that it doesn’t mean much without a lengthy playoff run.

The individual awards are nice, but ultimately Anthony is going to be judged on how far he can lead the Knicks in the playoffs.

Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.

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Topics: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder

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