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Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012

Rockets' Lin makes triumphant return to Garden


NEW YORK — His old fans booed him. His old friend clobbered him.

News photo
Still big on Broadway: Houston's Jeremy Lin shoots a layup between New York's Tyson Chandler (right) and Pablo Prigioni in the third quarter Monday. The Rockets beat the Knicks 109-96. AP

Otherwise, it was Linsanity all over again at Madison Square Garden.

Jeremy Lin had 22 points and eight assists in his return to New York, leading the Houston Rockets to a 109-96 victory Monday night that ended the Knicks' 10-game home winning streak to open the season.

Cheered then jeered, and later floored by Tyson Chandler's flagrant foul, Lin added another masterpiece to the ones he put together last season during the height of his memorable run. No longer the fan favorite he was when wearing the home uniform, Lin got a mixed reception when he left the game with 2:25 remaining and the Rockets leading by 16.

"It was a lot of fun playing out there and I think our team, we took a step in the right direction," Lin said. "And for me, it was great to be back and it was a lot of fun to play on that court again."

James Harden had 28 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, which blew out New York for the second time this season. The Rockets have won the last seven meetings, including a 131-103 rout in Houston on Nov. 23.

Rookie Chris Copeland scored a career-high 29 points for the Knicks, who played without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony and had their four-game winning streak snapped.

New York fell to 18-6, matching the record it finished last season with under Mike Woodson.

Thunder 107, Spurs 93

In Oklahoma City, Serge Ibaka tied his career best with 25 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds, and the Thunder beat San Antonio for their 11th straight win.

Grizzlies 80, Bulls 71

In Memphis, Mike Conley had 17 points, Zach Randolph added 10 points and 15 rebounds, and the hosts overcame a poor start to beat Chicago.

Clippers 88, Pistons 76

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Jamal Crawford scored 15 points and Chris Paul added 14 to lead Los Angeles past Detroit for its 10th straight win.

Magic 102, Timberwolves 93

In Orlando, Glen Davis scored 28 points and J.J. Redick had 18 points and seven assists as the hosts beat Minnesota.

Suns 101, Kings 90

In Phoenix, Shannon Brown scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter, Jared Dudley added 20 points and the Suns pulled off another big rally to beat Sacramento.

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