Stephen Curry sure knows how to put on a show at Madison Square Garden. His last two outings at The World’s Most Famous Arena have produced both a 50-point game and a triple-double, making him just the second visiting player to ever do so. The only other one accomplish this feat is, of course,
Michael Jordan LeBron James.
Bernard King, Patrick Ewing, and Carmelo Anthony are the only Knicks to post a triple-double and a 50-point game at Madison Square Garden, but assuming that half of their games played in the blue and orange were at home, they had a combined 726 attempts to do it in. Curry and James have needed only 16.
LeBron’s first 50-point performance came back in 2008, when the Knicks were still stuck in the mud known as the Isiah Thomas era. A 23-year old LeBron James was licking his chops at the thought of having his first defining moment at MSG, and came out firing in a 119-105 rout of New York.
My favorite part of that video is listening to the disappointment in Mike Breen’s voice as he announces that David Lee will have to start in place of the injured Zach Randolph. Today’s Knicks would kill to have post players like that! In due time, both Lee and Z-Bo were shipped off for pennies on the dollar in order to create cap space for…LeBron James.
King James almost killed two birds with one stone back in 2009, when he dropped 52 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in what was supposed to be a preview of what he was going to bring to The Garden on a regular basis starting that July. Kobe put up 61 on those D’Antoni-coached Knicks a few days earlier, so you knew LeBron was going to try and one up him. He went to sleep thinking he had a triple-double, but his final rebound was later credited to Ben Wallace, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. It was still a brilliant performance, but he’ll always be one triple-double shy of what he could’ve had.
His real Madison Square Garden triple-double came in his first game back in New York since announcing his decision to join Miami in Greenwich, Connecticut, just about a 20-minute drive away from the Knicks practice facility. Fans were none too pleased to say the least. Receiving a chorus of boos on each touch, LeBron led the Heat to victory in a game that, at the time, was the hottest ticket in town. As we know, he loves the bright lights of New York City, and this performance cemented him into Madison Square Garden history.