Carmelo Anthony has been zooming up the all-time scoring list this season, and on Monday night during the Portland Trail Blazers' 123-114 loss to the Atlanta Hawks he passed Elvin Hayes to move into 10th place.
Early in the second quarter, Anthony controlled the ball on the wing and went to work against Danilo Gallinari. The veteran kept his hand down, which is a mistake against such a talented scorer, and Anthony made him pay by pulling up and draining 3 plus the foul.
"This moment is a little bit special," Anthony said postgame. "The other moments was just coming, it was just fast. It was happening, you have a moment then it's on to the next game, on to the next thing. Top 10 in anything of all-time is a special moment. I don't want to take this moment for granted."
Anthony finished with 14 points in the game and now has 27,318 for his career, which puts him fewer than 100 points away from Moses Malone at No. 9 on the list. With seven games left, Anthony has a real chance to pass Malone before the end of the season. Along with fellow 2003 NBA Draftee LeBron James, Anthony is one of two active players in the top 10 all time in scoring. Interestingly, he's the only one without a championship or MVP.
Still, this is a remarkable accomplishment for Anthony, especially considering that a few years ago he was out of the league for nearly an entire year after his disastrous stint with the Houston Rockets. And when he did finally get an offer from the Blazers, it was originally a non-guaranteed deal.
Since then, he's reaffirmed that he belongs in the league and has given the Blazers a crucial scoring boost off the bench this season. Coming into Monday night's game against the Hawks, Anthony was averaging 16 points and shooting 50 percent from 3-point land over his last 11 outings.