Home > Sports > Basketball
  print button email button

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012

News photo
Footrace: New York's Jeremy Lin and Miami's Dwyane Wade chase after a loose ball in the first half on Thursday night. The Heat beat the Knicks 102-88. AP

Lin, Knicks struggle in defeat to Heat

AP

MIAMI — Jeremy Lin was no match for the Miami Heat.

Forcing Lin into easily the worst game of his remarkable run as New York's starting point guard by running streams of defenders at him, Miami topped the Knicks 102-88 on Thursday night — the eighth straight win for the NBA-leading Heat, all by at least 12 points.

Chris Bosh scored 25 points, Dwyane Wade added 22 and LeBron James finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Miami, which will go into the All-Star break with the NBA's best record (27-7).

Lin's final line: 1-for-11 from the field, eight points, three assists — a long way from the 23.9 points and 9.2 assists he had been averaging over his first 11 games in the Knicks' rotation, when he breathed immeasurable life into a team that was floundering.

"First of all, he deserves all of the credit he's been given," Wade said. "We knew it was going to be a tough task guarding him in this high pick and roll. Our point guards did a great job. He's a good player, but we put a lot of pressure on him and it was a success."

On Thursday, Lin simply wasn't the same player, turning the ball over eight times and saying afterward that the Heat defense made it difficult even to dribble. His last miss came with 6 seconds left, the outcome already decided, and he simply walked quietly off the court into the locker room.

"A learning experience," Lin said. "A tough one."

But for a while, the game lived up to the hype.

Spike Lee, Floyd Mayweather and Chad Ochocinco all sat within seven seats of each other on one sideline, Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison of the Miami Marlins were on another sideline, and members of the New York Mets' front office reportedly jumped aboard a helicopter for the quick trip from the team's spring-training home in Port St. Lucie down to Miami.

Even the First Fan took note of the hubbub surrounding the game.

"In another life, I would be staying for the Knicks-Heat game tonight, then going up to Orlando for NBA All-Star Weekend," President Barack Obama told cheering students at the University of Miami earlier in the day. "But these days, I've got a few other things on my plate. Just a few."

But when Air Force One was headed to Orlando for a Thursday night fundraiser, yes, there were televisions tuned to Heat-Knicks on board.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 19 points, with J.R. Smith scoring 14 for New York off the bench.

"I'm sure they were all geeked up for him," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said of the Heat defense on Lin. "And they took the challenge and they did a great job. It's hard to be Peter Pan every day."

James became the NBA's first player since 2008 to finish with at least 20 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, five steals and two blocks.

The last one to do that?

James himself.

"This has been about a three-week push for us and it's a good way to end before the break," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

If proof was needed that Miami wanted to make a point against Lin, there was some clear evidence.

Exhibit A: Mario Chalmers stole the ball from Lin and went in for a two-handed dunk in the early minutes. Exhibit B: Norris Cole, Chalmers' backup at point guard, did the same thing in the second quarter.

Hawks 83, Magic 78

In Atlanta, Josh Smith scored 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to help the Hawks snap a three-game skid with an win over Orlando.

Jannero Pargo added 15 points and Willie Green had 14 for Atlanta.

J.J. Redick finished with 13 points and Dwight Howard had 12 for the Magic, who had won two straight and six of seven.

Spurs 114, Nuggets 99

In Denver, DeJuan Blair tied a career high with 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, helping the Spurs beat the Nuggets to wrap up a nine-game road swing.

They've won 12 of their last 13 heading into the All-Star break and lead the Southwest Division by three games over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.

All five San Antonio starters scored in double figures. Tony Parker had 16 points and 12 assists, while Tim Duncan added 18 points. Richard Jefferson hit 5 of 7 3-point attempts and scored 17.

Thunder 100, Lakers 85

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 and the Thunder beat Los Angeles to head into the All-Star break tied for the league's best record.

The Lakers had won at defending NBA champion Dallas a night earlier and were trying to follow it by knocking off the other half of last year's West finals.

Kobe Bryant scored 24 points but went 7-for-24 from the field for Los Angeles. Pau Gasol had 22 points and nine rebounds.

Oklahoma City and Miami both have NBA-leading 27-7 records at the break.

Stern amazed by Lin

AP

MIAMI — NBA commissioner David Stern says Jeremy Lin has created more interest in a shorter period of time than any athlete he can remember.

Lin, an undrafted guard from Harvard, has become the NBA's biggest story since coming off the Knicks' bench earlier this month to lead them to nine wins in 11 games heading into their matchup with Miami on Thursday night.

With Lin's popularity in Asia as the league's first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, and with the religious community because of his strong Christian faith, Stern says he's "never quite seen anything like" the attention on Lin.

"It's fascinating," Stern said after the All-Star Jam Session opening ceremonies.

Lin was a late addition to Friday's Rising Stars Challenge between first and second-year players.



Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.