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Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

Lin lights up Wizards, wins over road crowd


WASHINGTON — What a week it has been for Jeremy Lin.

News photo
Lin = Win: New York's Jeremy Lin reacts after dunking in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night against Washington. Lin had 23 points and 10 assists as the Knicks beat the Wizards 107-93. AP

With three breakout games, the Harvard graduate has become the NBA's newest playmaking sensation. He's a fan favorite — home and away — and has earned more than 60,000 Twitter followers in just five days.

Now, he also has his first NBA dunk.

Lin had 23 points — two on that slam — and a career-high 10 assists in the New York Knicks' 107-93 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Late in the third quarter with the Knicks leading by four, Lin drove past three Wizards players and suddenly was alone in front of the hoop before he slammed it through with his right hand.

"Just one of those in-a-moment things," Lin said. "I think they messed up on their coverage, so I was able to get free."

In his first two NBA starts, Lin had 25 points against New Jersey and 28 more against Utah — both wins. Now, he had to go on the road, and instead of facing a hostile crowd, Lin found an adoring one.

The fans cheered louder for Lin than for any other player in introductions, waving Taiwanese flags and signs -including one that read: "Linning and Grinning."

By the time the game ended, the crowd was chanting for him as he walked off the floor.

"Like I said after the last game, I wouldn't have imagined this," said Lin, who was undrafted in 2010 and played his rookie season in Golden State.

"Thanks to them for coming out and they came out strong for the Knicks tonight," he added. "We had a lot of energy that came from them."

When the Knicks last played here on Jan. 6, Lin didn't play at all. With their two leading scorers missing — Carmelo Anthony gone for a week or two with a strained right groin and Amare Stoudemire mourning the loss of his brother — New York desperately needed Lin's scoring this time around.

He didn't single-handedly make up for the 40 points that Anthony and Stoudemire provide, but sure energized this decidedly pro-New York crowd.

"He just does everything easy and the rest of the guys around him are playing the way we want to play," New York coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Spurs 100, 76ers 90

In Philadelphia, Tony Parker scored 37 points, and Gary Neal added 18 off the bench.

Mavericks 105, Nuggets 95

In Denver, Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and the defending NBA champions snapped a three-game losing streak.

Cavaliers 99, Clippers 92

In Cleveland, Ramon Sessions had a season-high 24 points as a last-minute replacement for injured rookie Kyrie Irving, and Antawn Jamison scored 27 to lead the Cavaliers.

Magic 102, Heat 89

In Orlando, Dwight Howard had 25 points and 24 rebounds, Ryan Anderson scored 27 and the Magic hit 17 3-pointers against Miami.

Bulls 90 Hornets 67

In New Orleans, Carlos Boozer scored 18 points and Chicago won its fourth straight game while nearly holding the Hornets to a franchise low in points.

Bucks 105, Raptors 99

In Toronto, Carlos Delfino scored a season-high 25 points against his former team, Drew Gooden had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Milwaukee snapped a three-game losing streak.

Hawks 97, Pacers 87

In Atlanta, Josh Smith scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Hawks defeated Indiana to snap a three-game home losing streak.

Grizzlies 85, Timberwolves 80

In Memphis, Rudy Gay had 19 points and nine rebounds, Quincy Pondexter added a career-high 17 points and the Grizzlies ended a three-game slide with a victory over Minnesota.

Pistons 99, Nets 92

In Newark, New Jersey, Greg Monroe had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lift Detroit to a win over the Nets for its season-best third straight victory.

Rockets 103, Trail Blazers 96

In Portland, Chase Budinger had 22 points off the bench to lead Houston past the Blazers.

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