Jeremy Lin will always remember that short lived, beautiful stretch of basketball known as Linsanity.
His 1st trip back to Madison Square Garden was notable, too.
Lin had 22 points and 8 assists in his return to N.Y, leading the Rockets to a 109-96 victory that finished the Knicks’ 10-game home winning run to open the season.
The undrafted point guard from Harvard said before the game he would always remember his breakthrough, no matter how long he plays. But he wasn’t thinking, even as he put together a good imitation of it.
”I’ve moved on, they’ve moved on,” Lin announced. ”We have good memories, but at the very same time we’re all in a different place now.”
Cheered then jeered, and later floored by Tyson Chandler’s flagrant foul, Lin added another masterpiece to the ones he compiled 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 announced. ”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 the Rockets, who blew out the New York Knicks for the 2nd time this season. They have won the last 7 meetings, including a 131-103 rout in Houston on November 23.
Rookie Chris Copeland scored a career-high 29 points for the Knicks, who played without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony and had their 4-game winning run snapped. They dropped to 18-6, matching the record they’d under Mike Woodson after he replaced Mike D’Antoni on March 14 last season. Basketball scores
Woodson’s team opted not to match Houston’s contract offer to Lin, and no-one might argue when Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni led the Knicks to the best record in the Eastern Conference with a team that led the NBA in fewest turnovers.
But Lin was the best point guard on the floor, just as he so regularly was during his stunning run last winter, when the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent went from undrafted benchwarmer to the biggest story in basketball.
Felton scored 14 points but shot 7 of 18. Kidd was 2 for 9, and both committed 3 turnovers.
The Houston Rockets outscored the Knicks 54-29 over the middle 2 quarters, rejecting New York its first 11-0 begin at home since the 1991-92 season.
The New York Knicks trailed by just 5 halfway thru the 3d quarter before the Rockets blew it open with a 15-0 run, with Lin either scoring or aiding on 5 of their 6 baskets.
His layup opened the run, and he then found Marcus Morris for a layup and a 3-pointer for a 67-55 Houston lead. Lin assisted on the 2nd of Harden’s sequential 3-pointers, and then had a deal and layup that gave Houston a 75-55 cushion.