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Basketball: Lin shines as Knicks rebound to beat Mavs
The New York Knicks rebounded from their first loss of Jeremy Lin’s magical run to defeat the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks 104-97 yesterday (Macau time).
Just two days after committing a season-high nine turnovers in a loss to New Orleans, the 23-year-old Lin bounced back in superb fashion against the mighty Mavericks.
“We are thankful for any win we can get but obviously this is a big one because they are defending champions,” Lin said.
Point guard Lin finished with a team-high 28 points, 14 assists and five steals for the Knicks, who beat Dallas for the first time at Madison Square Garden in over six years.
“The game that he had, that’s ridiculous,” said Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. “It just seems the harder the moment, the better he shoots the ball. He makes big plays. He’s definitely fearless.
Center Tyson Chandler finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds and veteran shooting guard J.R. Smith had 15 points in his first start of the season for the Knicks.
Smith signed with New York Friday after a stint playing in China.
The Lin era got its launch when the former part-time player was called upon with two starters missing, and he answered with the most points of any NBA player in his first five starts since the NBA and ABA merged in 1976.
The fairy-tale rise to fame of Lin, the first US-born NBA player of Taiwanese and Chinese heritage, is further enhanced because he was cut by two clubs before the season started.
Once again, Lin drained long three pointers, made precision full court passes and spun off defenders to attack the Mavericks’ basket as he carried the Knicks on his back down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
Lin shot 11-of-20 from the field in 46 minutes of playing time. In the final minute alone, he assisted on the Knicks’ last two baskets and had a clutch steal against reigning NBA finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki of Germany.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Lin hit a three pointer over the seven-foot Nowitzki that made it 90-81, giving New York one of their biggest leads of the game.
“He is tough,” Nowitzki said. “We really tried to trap him off the pick and roll, but he is crafty. He knows how to get to the basket. He knows how to cut off, spin and still get to his spots.”
Nowitzki scored a game-high 34 points and Shawn Marion, who was given the task of guarding Lin, had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Mavericks, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.
Dallas, who are 12-5 in their last 17 games, led by as much as 12 points in the third quarter but were outscored 32-22 in the fourth.
The Knicks played their seventh straight game without superstar Carmelo Anthony, who is out with a groin injury.
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