Jeremy Lin's improbable rise to prominence continued Friday night when he scored a game-high 38 points to lead New York to a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lin has been lighting up opposing defenses for the past four games, but Friday was perhaps his most impressive performance. With his teammates struggling from the floor, Lin hit 13 of 23 shots. He also handed out a game-high seven assists. His teammates shot 20-for-54.
The Knicks (12-15) have won four straight, matching their longest winning streak of the season. All four have come with Lin receiving significant minutes (he has started the past three games). He has averaged 28.5 points and eight assists over the past four games.
THE GOOD: Let's start midway through the fourth quarter. Lin got Jason Kapono in the air with a ball fake and hit a deep corner jumper to put the Knicks up nine. Two minutes later, Lin knocked down a 23-foot 2-pointer over Pau Gasol. Next possession, he knocked down an open 3 to put the Knicks up 84-71. The Garden crowd exploded.
For good measure, Lin drew an offensive foul on Matt Barnes with 41 seconds to play.
Lin, by the way, outscored Kobe Bryant 38-34. Bryant shot 11-for-29.
D-FENSE: The Knicks held the Lakers to 37.5 percent shooting. Los Angeles, playing the second game of a back-to-back, missed 12 of its first 13 shots.
THE BAD: Outside of Lin, the Knicks largely struggled from the floor. Landry Fields went 1-for-7. Steve Novak finished 3-for-9. Iman Shumpert was 1-for-6 with three points before heating up in the fourth. He finished with 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks play the second game of a tough back-to-back in Minnesota on Saturday night, pitting Lin against Ricky Rubio.
It'll be the Knicks' second straight game without both Carmelo Anthony (groin) and Amare Stoudemire (death in the family). Stoudemire is expected to return to practice Monday. Anthony's return is less certain. The Knicks say he will be out one to two weeks.