NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was poised to clinch the National Basketball Association (NBA) scoring title after Kevin Durant announced he was not playing in Wednesday’s final game of the regular season.
Durant needed to score at least 70 points in Oklahoma Thunder’s last game against the Milwaukee Bucks but said he was taking a break before the playoffs start this weekend.
“SITTING OUT TONIGHT‘S GAME, if you disappointed I didn’t try to go for the scoring title, oh well!!” he posted on his Instagram page.
Durant won the scoring title each of the past three seasons and Oklahoma have already clinched the number one seed in the Western Conference for the NBA playoffs.
His withdrawal meant Anthony, who is also missing his team’s last game against Atlanta on Wednesday, would secure the title for the first time, with a season average of 28.2 points per game.
The 28-year-old went on a scoring spree in the latter part of the season, including a career-high tying 50-point haul against the Miami Heat two weeks ago.
Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and LeBron James of Miami were ranked the third and fourth top scorers going into Wednesday’s final round of regular season games.
Reporting by Julian Linden; editing by Simon Evans