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Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012

Lin electrifies MSG with 38-point outburst vs. Lakers


NEW YORK — Jeremy Lin outplayed Kobe Bryant, ended the mighty Lakers' dominance of the Knicks and then tried to pretend it was just another game.

News photo
Better and better: New York's Jeremy Lin spins away from Los Angeles' Derek Fisher during the Knicks' 92-85 win on Friday. AP


This was the night that proved he's no one-week wonder, that he's got a real NBA career ahead of him.

After all, Kobe's waiting for revenge next season.

Lin had the most astounding performance of his remarkable week, scoring a career-high 38 points and outdueling Bryant as New York held off the Los Angeles Lakers 92-85 on Friday night.

Buried deep on the bench a little more than a week ago, Lin led the Knicks to their fourth straight win, tying their longest streak of the season. His two free throws with 52 seconds left amid booming "MVP! MVP!" chants stopped the Lakers' final rally and allowed the undrafted Harvard product to pass Carmelo Anthony for the highest-scoring game by a Knicks player this season.

"I didn't try to see this game as any different," Lin said. "I just try to make sure that when I get there on the floor, I play as hard as I can and try to do everything I can to help the team win.

"The only thing we established tonight is four in a row. Now we try to go for five tomorrow. I'm not too worried about proving anything to anybody. As a team we're growing and trying to build on the momentum."

Iman Shumpert added 12 points for New York, which is still without Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. But the Knicks have Lin, the point guard that two other teams gave up on in December and didn't get his chance in New York until three other players couldn't do the job.

Bryant finished with 34 points, but he got off to a horrendous start and finished only 11 of 29 from the field. Pau Gasol had 16 points and 10 rebounds, but All-Star Andrew Bynum was only 1-for-8 for three points with 13 rebounds as the Lakers' nine-game winning streak against the Knicks was snapped.

Five of those wins had come at Madison Square Garden, where fans used to roar for Bryant.

They've got a new favorite now, and who could have ever predicted it'd be Lin?

"I think it's a great story," Bryant said. "I think it's a testament to perseverance and hard work. Good example for kids everywhere."

A night earlier, Bryant said he wasn't familiar with Lin's game. Now, he'll awake to headlines everywhere that Lin beat him at the "world's most famous arena."

"Enjoy it," Bryant said. "They'll receive judgment next season."

Heat 106, Wizards 89

In Washington, Dwyane Wade scored 26 points and dominated during a second-quarter run to lead Miami over the Wizards.

Thunder 101, Jazz 87

In Salt Lake City, Russell Westbrook scored 28 points and Kevin Durant added 19 to lead Oklahoma City over Utah.

Clippers 78, Sixers 77

In Philadelphia, Chris Paul hit a 5.2-meter jumper with 3.2 seconds left and finished with 24 points to lift Los Angeles over the Sixers.

Bulls 95, Bobcats 64

In Charlotte, Joakim Noah had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Carlos Boozer scored 16 points and Chicago beat the Bobcats despite the absence of reigning league MVP Derrick Rose.

Mavericks 104, T-Wolves 97

In Minneapolis, Dirk Nowitzki welcomed Kevin Love back from his two-game suspension with a season-high 33 points, winning the matchup of Western Conference All-Star power forwards.

Raptors 86, Celtics 74

In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points, Jose Calderon had 17 points and 14 rebounds and the Raptors beat Boston for their third win in the past 20 meetings against the Celtics.

Hawks 89, Magic 87 (OT)

In Orlando, Josh Smith had 23 points and 19 rebounds, and Atlanta hit enough free throws late in overtime to slip past the Magic.

Grizzlies 98, Pacers 92

In Memphis, Rudy Gay scored 21 points, and Marreese Speights added a season-high 19 points and nine rebounds.

Bucks 113, Cavaliers 112 (OT)

In Cleveland, Brandon Jennings scored 24 points and made a big layup in overtime.

Trail Blazers 94, Hornets 86

In New Orleans, Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 31 points, and Portland snapped a two-game skid.

Pistons 109, Nets 92

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Greg Monroe had 18 points and 11 rebounds to help Detroit rout New Jersey for its fourth straight victory.

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