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Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012

Rockets soar over Knicks


HOUSTON — Jeremy Lin doesn't know if he'll ever perform as well as he did during his charmed February with the New York Knicks last season.

News photo
Rocket man: New York's Jason Kidd keeps the ball away from Houston's Jeremy Lin during their game on Friday. AP

For now he's content to be a key contributor on his new team.

James Harden scored 33 points and Chandler Parsons had a career-high 31 to help the Houston Rockets coast to a 131-103 victory over the Knicks on Friday night. Lin added 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists in his first game against his previous team.

The Rockets carried a 12-point lead into the third, and scored 10 straight points later in the quarter to extend their lead to 21.

Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 37 for New York, which has dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.

Lin went undrafted out of Harvard and became a sensation with the Knicks last season with a remarkable stretch in February when he scored at least 20 points in nine of 10 games. A high point of that span came when he had 38 points and seven assists in a 92-85 victory over the Lakers on Feb. 10.

Houston released Lin before he signed with New York. Lin became a Rocket again when the Knicks decided not to match Houston's three-year, $25 million offer.

"I'm not looking to recreate what happened in New York," said Lin, who has been in a slump lately. "I want to be a consistent player. I want to get better. I don't know what my potential is. I don't know if I can play any better than I did during that stretch, but I'm going to find out to see how close I can get."

He said he's "at peace" with the Knicks not matching Houston's offer, and he's glad to be in Houston.

He'll get another shot at his former team when the Rockets travel to Madison Square Garden on Dec. 17.

"I thought this was one of Jeremy's better games," Houston interim coach Kelvin Sampson said. "He attacked and played with swagger tonight, and that was good to see."

Though Lin and the Rockets got the best of the Knicks in this one, not everything went right for the guard on Friday night.

"I lost part of my tooth on the floor," said Lin, who chipped one of his front teeth while scrambling for the ball near the end of the first half.

Grizzlies 106, Lakers 98

In Memphis, Rudy Gay scored 21 points, Mike Conley added 19, and the Grizzlies improved to an NBA-best 9-2.

Celtics 108, Thunder 100

In Boston, Paul Pierce scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half and the Celtics snapped a two-game losing streak.

Nets 86, Clippers 76

In New York, Brook Lopez had 26 points, including consecutive baskets during the decisive stretch.

Spurs 104, Pacers 97

In Indianapolis, Tony Parker scored 33 points and San Antonio overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Pacers to improve to 10-3.

Nuggets 102, Warriors 91

In Denver, Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 29 points — 20 in the second half — and Ty Lawson had 18 points and nine assists to help the Nuggets win their third straight game.

Suns 111, Hornets 108 (OT)

In Phoenix, Markieff Morris scored a career-high 23 points, including a 3-pointer in overtime, and the Suns rallied from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to hand New Orleans its sixth straight loss.

Trail Blazers 103, T-Wolves 95

In Portland, Wesley Matthews scored 30 points, rookie Damian Lillard had a season-high 28 points and eight assists and the Trail Blazers beat Minnesota.

Hawks 101, Bobcats 91

In Charlotte, Al Horford had 26 points and 13 rebounds.

Magic 108, Cavaliers 104

In Orlando, Jameer Nelson had 22 points and six assists, and Arron Afflalo added 19.

Jazz 104, Kings 102

In Salt Lake City, Gordon Hayward hit the winning basket with 4.5 seconds left and finished with 23 points in Utah's comeback victory over Sacramento.

Pistons 91, Raptors 90

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Brandon Knight made a layup with 7.8 seconds left to lift Detroit past Toronto.

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