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Carmelo Anthony had flashbacks to the Olympics as he led the New York Knicks to victory at the O2 Arena on Thursday night.
Anthony, one of the leaders of the United States team that took gold here last summer, returned to North Greenwich to put in another star turn, pouring in 26 points in the Knicks' 102-87 victory over a young Detroit team.
"It felt good out there," said Anthony, who helped the Knicks explode into a 16-2 lead that never surrendered.
"The crowd was fantastic. It's a sell-out crowd, there was great energy in the building and everybody has come out to support the New York Knicks, the NBA as a whole, the Detroit Pistons.
"I definitely had some flashbacks running out on court."
Tyson Chandler, another member of the all-conquering United States team, chipped in with 10 points and 14 rebounds, while Amar'e Stoudemire scored 17 and JR Smith 16.
With Iman Shumpert returning from a long-term injury to provide another spark, it was the kind of performance that lends credence to the growing notion that this Knicks team is good enough to end their 40-year wait for an NBA Championship.
A sell-out crowd of 18,689 watched them win, another sign of basketball's appeal here after the Olympics.
"We had great fan support here tonight and that just goes to show our sport is global now," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson. "The fans were fantastic going both ways but especially for us. When they played our theme song to start the game that really got our guys into the game and it was like we were playing at home."
Indeed, the majority of the crowd seemed to be pulling for the Knicks, perhaps a bit harsh on the Pistons who had given up a home game to bring this contest across the Atlantic.
This is a young Detroit team with five rookies as they continue a rebuilding process, and Will Bynum - who led them with 22 points - believes this trip will be positive in the long-term.
"This was a great experience," he said. "The game is going global, that's great for London going forward and that's great for the Pistons. We just know now we need to play with a greater sense of urgency to make a run at a playoff spot.
"But the atmosphere was amazing. If you don't want to be playing in an atmosphere like this, you don't need to be playing basketball."