PER Diem: Dec. 11, 2008

The record books will say that Carmelo Anthony only tied the league mark for points in a quarter with his 33-point explosion in the third quarter of Denver's 116-105 win over Minnesota on Wednesday.

But the reality is that his feat was much, much more impressive than that of the man he tied, George Gervin. For starters, the Iceman played in a more up-tempo era than the current one; even with the Nuggets being a fast-paced team, they play 15 percent slower than the Spurs did in 1977-78.

Moreover, this game wasn't a circus. Gervin's 33-point quarter and David Thompson's second-place, 32-point effort both came on April 9, 1978 -- when the duo battled for the scoring title on the last day of the season against apathetic opponents. Melo's quarter came with his team trailing by a dozen and needing to rally to win. Gervin's came in a 153-132 squeaker.

And if Anthony's 33-point quarter is a record, then what can we possibly say about the 6:23 stretch toward the end when he scored 25 points in just 13 Nuggets possessions (see sidebar)? For that stretch, Melo's personal offensive efficiency rating was nearly 200. At that rate, in a 48-minute game he would have scored 184 points.

For the quarter as a whole, Melo scored 33 points on just 23 trips. He made 4-of-5 3s in the period, an eye-opener given that he entered the game just 14-for-43 on the season. In fact, it appeared part of Minnesota's strategy against him was to concede the long J.

It's also fun to see what impact the quarter had on his season stats. Anthony entered the quarter shooting 40.7 percent from the floor and left it at 42.4 percent. He began the quarter averaging 23.0 points per 40 minutes and ended it averaging 24.5. He scored 8 percent of his season total in the quarter.

And with all that going, it was nice to see new Wolves coach Kevin McHale step in and take charge over there, huh? While Denver scored on nearly every trip -- 40 points in just 23 third-quarter possessions -- the game log indicates Minnesota only called a full timeout at the six-minute mark.

John Hollinger writes for ESPN Insider. To e-mail him, click here.