Jeremy Lin hits game-winner against Toronto Raptors, extends win streak

February 15, 2012

Jeremy Lin continued his meteoric rise to stardom in the NBA, hitting a game-winning three point shot with less than a second left against the Toronto Raptors. As Cindy Boren reported:

Jeremy Lin can now add a game-winning three-pointer to the Linsanity Lore, which seems to grow daily.

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.

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.

The Jeremy Lin frenzy continues to grow in New York and beyond. With Amar’e Stoudemire returning to the lineup for the Knicks this week, some are concerned Lin will be forced to tone down his play. As Jenna McGregor reported:

You might think New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni’s job would be about to get easier. Star players Amar’e Stoudemire, who has been out following the death of his brother, and Carmelo Anthony, who has been recovering from a groin injury, are expected to return, with Stoudemire starting in Tuesday’s matchup against the Toronto Raptors and Anthony expected later this week. Add their skills to the sudden emergence of Jeremy Lin — the undrafted, out-of-nowhere point guard who has shocked the basketball world by scoring more than 20 points and seven assists in each of the last five games — and D’Antoni will have an even deeper roster of talent from which to choose.

But the return of Stoudemire and Anthony could very well make things harder for D’Antoni. These are both all stars accustomed to being looked to for making plays, and Anthony, in particular, is used to dominating the ball. D’Antoni will have to find a way to balance the performance he can get out of his newfound phenom while still letting his team’s stars get their shots.

Most leaders would say that’s a problem they’d love to have. And D’Antoni, for one, doesn’t seem worried about it: He’s said Anthony’s return will enhance rather than disrupt the Knicks’ offense. “He's not going to mess it up. I think that's ludicrous,” D'Antoni has said. Stoudemire and Anthony claim they won’t have any issues settling back in with Lin’s newfound stardom, either. Stoudemire has compared Lin to star point guard Steve Nash, saying Lin’s style of play fits well with his own.

The roster challenges aside, Jeremy ‘Linderella’ has swept his team’s fans up in the five game win streak he has led. As Cindy Boren reported:

It’s Week 2 in the suddenly wacky life of Jeremy Lin and the Linsanity Tour shows no signs of lessening, not when the New York Knicks are seeking their sixth straight win since Lin became a starter in what he calls “a miracle from God.”

To recap, on Va-Lin-tine’s Day:

•A New York Knick — a New York Knick! — is on the Sports Illustrated cover this week. The last Knick on the cover? Marcus Camby on June 28, 1999.

•There’s now a word generator (which is helpful for those of us who stopped at Linsanity). Lincopedia! Linyourface!

•America loves him. His teammates love him...especially when he’s making things easier for, you know, them.

“I know there's questions about, ‘Can I fit in?’ and stuff like that, but this is like a dream come true to me,” Carmelo Anthony said. “It takes some pressure off of me. I don't have to play point guard. I don't have to try to get Amare 20 points, try to get this guy 20 points, me try to go out there and get 25-30 points a night, play defense, rebound, do the whole thing.”

•Real-estate developer Edward Mermelstein offered Lin a free one-bedroom apartment in the city, so he won’t have to sleep on a couch any longer.

•Imagine how Linsane things would be if all New Yorkers could actually see the Knicks. Because of a dispute with MSG, Time Warner Cable has been blacking out Knicks (and Rangers) games since the first of the year.

•Stephen Colbert has been stricken with “a raging case” of Linsanity. “My symptoms: Linsomnia, restless Linsyndrome and Lintestinal blockage!” (The NBA hasn’t seen anything like this since the “outbreak of Kareem Abdul-Jabotulism.”)

More from Washington Post Sports:

In an incredible week, Lin proves he’s a good player, not just a good story

Mike Wise: For Lin, anything seems possible

Jeremy Lin breaks the mold; re-energizes NBA’s Asian fanbase

Wizards Insider: Wizards witness the Jeremy Lin show

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