He coolly hit a three with a half-second left, giving the New York Knicks a 90-87 victory over the Raptors in Toronto. He scored six straight points at the end of the game as the Knicks came back from a 17-point deficit and won their sixth straight game since Lin came out of nowhere to start at point guard.
“I’m just glad it went like this, so we could calm the ‘Linsanity’ down a little bit,” Coach Mike D’Antoni said.
(Video after the jump.)
No chance of that. Lin scored 27 points — the sixth time he has had at least 20 — and had 11 assists. He turned the ball over eight times and struggled a bit defensively, but that faded with his three-pointer.
“It’s pretty amazing what he’s doing, man,” said Amar’e Stoudemire, who rejoined the Knicks after missing a week because of the death of his brother. “I can’t really explain it.”
Lin, the Harvard economics grad who publicly talks about his religious faith, found that, with 10 seconds left and the score tied, his coach had some — in him.
“He’s too good to even call a timeout,” D’Antoni said, adding, “That makes it easy for a coach that’s able just to trust the point guard.”
He should. The kid is on a roll; why mess with that? Lin has scored more points (136) in his first five starts than any other player since the ABA-NBA merger. Take that, Michael Jordan. And you, Shaquille O’Neal. With Lin a 3-for-18 shooter on threes, the percentages were not with him at the end of the game, but the basketball gods were.
“I understand my percentage is low, and that’s obviously a criticism people have of me,” Lin said. “I’m thankful that my coach and my teammates trust me with the ball at the end of the game.”
Next up for Lin and the Knicks: A game tonight against Sacramento (while fans line up to trademark “Linsanity”). And there’ll be a little national love — as if he needs more — in a national TV game at 1 p.m. Sunday on ABC against the Dallas Mavericks.
Now, the NBA must get him involved in All-Star Weekend because this fun ride shows no signs of ending any time soon.
Its crazy! I'm watching Linsanity hoping every shot goes in. Hope I never grow up.— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) February 15, 2012
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