Carmelo Anthony was surprised to be benched for the entire fourth quarter of Oklahoma City's overtime loss to the Nuggets.
"Yeah, of course," Anthony said. "Of course I wanted to be there, but that wasn't my decision to make, so I kind of leave that to coach on that one."
Anthony walked to the scorer's table with three minutes left in the fourth quarter but then sat himself back on the bench when Jerami Grant his a corner three-pointer.
"I was sitting for the whole fourth, and there was like two and some change on the clock," Anthony said. "[Grant] hit that 3, so it was like, just let him continue to go out there and just play it out and see what happens. But then we wind up going to overtime."
Anthony subbed back in to start the overtime period.
"It was kind of a hard thing. I wanted to put Melo back in the game, but I think that unit was playing so well at that particular time. We were on a pretty good run, we were playing good. Jerami made a 3 when I wanted to put Carmelo back in," Billy Donovan said. "Carmelo's always been a team guy. I think he felt like, 'OK, Jerami's playing well, let him go, let him play.'"
Anthony said it's the first time in his career he can remember telling a coach to play someone else that late in a game.
"I think I've done it before, but not that late in the game and in the quarter," he said. "I've done it before where a guy has it going and didn't want to break his rhythm. A lot of times, when guys have it going like that, especially role players guys, bench guys, that gives them confidence, that you do believe in those guys. But not that late in a game like that, never did that."