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Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012
Incredible Lin does it again
TORONTO — Even after his amazing week, this one took Linsanity to a whole new level. Against Toronto on Tuesday, it was Lin for the win!
Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with less than a second to play to cap his finishing flurry of six straight points and New York rallied to beat the Raptors 90-87, extending its winning streak to six games.
"I'm just glad it went like this so we can calm the Linsanity down," cracked Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni.
No chance of that. The NBA's first American-Taiwanese player, Lin scored 27 points and added a career-high 11 assists in his first game since being named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
"He continues to impress every night," New York's Jared Jeffries said. "Every game he plays better, he does more and more to help us win basketball games. You can't ask any more of a kid coming into this situation."
While he's the one standing in the spotlight, Lin said sharing success with his teammates is as big a reward.
"It's not because of me, it's because we're coming together as a team," Lin said. "We started making these steps earlier but we were still losing close games and so obviously it wasn't fun. But when you win, that solves a lot of problems. We've been winning and we've been playing together."
Making just his fifth career start, Lin had no hesitation in taking the decisive shot.
"I'm thankful that the coach and my teammates trust me with the ball at the end of the game," he said. "I like having it at the end of the game. I'm just very thankful."
The season-high crowd of 20,092 roared as Lin shot over Jose Calderon and drained a pull-up jumper from the top with half a second to play, giving the Knicks their first lead since the opening quarter.
D'Antoni declined to call timeout before Lin's winning shot, saying it would only give the Raptors time to draw up their defense. Even so, D'Antoni was impressed with the calm and confidence Lin showed in letting the clock run down.
"You just watch and you're in awe," D'Antoni said. "He held it until five-tenths of a second left. He was pretty confident that was going in, no rebounds, no nothing. That ball was being buried."
Toronto's Rasual Butler airballed his attempt at the buzzer as the Knicks swarmed their newest hero at center court.
"The kid made a great shot," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "(Calderon) had to give him space or he was going to give up a driving path and (Lin) made a tough shot."
Heat 105, Pacers 90
In Indianapolis, LeBron James scored 23 points and nearly produced his first triple-double in 11 months, Dwyane Wade had 16 points, and Miami became the first team in 33 years to win three straight on the road in three days.
Thunder 111, Jazz 85
In Oklahoma City, James Harden scored 22 points, Kevin Durant added 21 and the Thunder beat Utah for the second time in five days.
Russell Westbrook chipped in 16 points for Oklahoma City, and Serge Ibaka also scored 16 to go with 10 rebounds and six blocks.
Lakers 86, Hawks 78
In Los Angeles, Pau Gasol scored seven of his 20 points in the final 5:20 and grabbed 13 rebounds, and the Lakers beat Atlanta.
Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who returned from a 3-3 road trip and improved to 12-2 at home — compared to 5-10 away.
Spurs 99, Pistons 95
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Tim Duncan had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and San Antonio overcame a spirited Detroit rally to beat the Pistons for its eighth consecutive victory.
Nuggets 109, Suns 92
In Denver, Arron Afflalo scored 20 points, Ty Lawson had 17 and the Nuggets broke open a close game in the third quarter to beat short-handed Phoenix.
Bulls 121, Kings 115
In Chicago, Luol Deng came through with 23 points and a career-high 11 assists, and the Bulls beat Sacramento after watching a 19-point, fourth-quarter lead dwindle to two.
Grizzlies 93, Rockets 83
In Memphis, Mike Conley scored 21 points, and Rudy Gay added 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the hosts over Houston.
Wizards 124, Trail Blazers 109
In Portland, Nick Young scored a season-high 35 points, John Wall added 29 points and nine assists, and Washington beat the Trail Blazers for its third straight road win.
Nicolas Batum tied a career high with 33 points for Portland, which fell to 15-14.