7:00 PM ET, February 14, 2012
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
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TORONTO -- Even after his amazing week, this one took Linsanity to a whole new level. Against Toronto on Tuesday, it was Lin for the win!
Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with less than a second to play to cap his finishing flurry of six straight points and New York rallied to beat the Raptors 90-87, extending its winning streak to six games.
"I'm just glad it went like this so we can calm the Linsanity down," cracked Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni.
No chance of that. Lin scored 27 points and added a career-high 11 assists in his first game since being named Eastern Conference player of the week.
"He continues to impress every night," New York's Jared Jeffries said. "Every game he plays better, he does more and more to help us win basketball games. You can't ask any more of a kid coming into this situation."
SportsNation: Linsanity Rising
Is Jeremy Lin more clutch than Tim Tebow? Who should the Knicks have taking the final shot when Carmelo Anthony comes back?
While he's the one standing in the spotlight, Lin said sharing success with his teammates is as big a reward.
"It's not because of me, it's because we're coming together as a team," Lin said. "We started making these steps earlier but we were still losing close games and so obviously it wasn't fun. But when you win, that solves a lot of problems. We've been winning and we've been playing together."
Making just his fifth career start, Lin had no hesitation in taking the decisive shot.
"I'm thankful that the coach and my teammates trust me with the ball at the end of the game," he said. "I like having it at the end of the game. I'm just very thankful."
The season-high crowd of 20,092 roared as Lin shot over Jose Calderon and drained a pull-up jumper from the top with half a second to play, giving the Knicks their first lead since the opening quarter.
Twitter Reaction To Lin's Game-Winner
Jeremy Lin's game-winning 3-pointer was the shot heard around Twitter on Tuesday night. Here are some posts:
"Floyd Mayweather I Hope You Watched Jeremy Hit The Gamewinning 3 Pointer With .005 Seconds Left.Our Guy Can BALL PLAIN AND SIMPLE.RECOGNIZE." -- director Spike Lee
"Chuck Norris may wear Tebow pajamas but I'm pretty sure he has a Jeremy Lin night light to scare the boogeyman away. Wow! What a run!!!" -- Heat forward Shane Battier
"Its crazy! I'm watching Linsanity hoping every shot goes in. Hope I never grow up." -- Suns guard Steve Nash
"OK, I GIVE IN!!!!!!!!!!! Its Legit!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!" -- TNT NBA analyst Reggie Miller
"@JLin7 's shot was great... His celebration ill say was fair at best LOL #Linsanity" -- Warriors forward David Lee
"I wish I was Jeremy Lin." -- CNN host Piers Morgan
"Vatican has been looking for that second miracle to make John Paul a saint...cld it be #Linsanity " -- talk show host Bill Maher
D'Antoni declined to call timeout before Lin's winning shot, saying it would only give the Raptors time to draw up their defense. Even so, D'Antoni was impressed with the calm and confidence Lin showed in letting the clock run down.
"You just watch and you're in awe," D'Antoni said. "He held it until five tenths of a second left. He was pretty confident that was going in, no rebounds, no nothing. That ball was being buried."
Toronto's Rasual Butler airballed his attempt at the buzzer as the Knicks swarmed their newest hero at center court.
"The kid made a great shot," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "(Calderon) had to give him space or he was going to give up a driving path and (Lin) made a tough shot."
But Casey was left steamed at his team's failure to hold a lead, especially after the Raptors made nine turnovers in the final quarter.
"It should not have come to (Lin's) play," Casey said. "We had some many boneheaded plays to get to that play and to make that play relevant. We should have taken care of business before that."
Up 75-66 to start the fourth, Toronto widened its lead with a three-point play by Barbosa before the Knicks stormed back with a 10-0 run, cutting it to 78-76 and forcing the Raptors to call timeout with 6:22 remaining.
Kleiza stopped the run with a driving layup, Amir Johnson added a hook shot and, after Lin made one of two from the line, Barbosa's layup made it 84-77 with 4:49 to go.
Since the 1976 NBA-ABA merger, no one has scored more points in his first five starts than Jeremy Lin.
|Source: Elias Sports Bureau|
In 66 seasons of Knicks basketball, only two other players have put together six straight games of 20 or more points and 7 or more assists.
|Jeremy Lin, 2011-12 *||6|
|Micheal Ray Richardson, 1980-81||6|
|Walt Frazier, 1969-70||6|
|Walt Frazier, 1968-69||6|
* - active streak.
Source: Elias Source Bureau
Toronto led 87-82 with less than two minutes to go when Iman Shumpert stole the ball from Calderon and drove in for an uncontested dunk. After a missed shot, Lin completed a three-point play, tying it at 87 with 1:05 left.
Barbosa missed a 3 for Toronto and, at the other end, Shumpert missed a jumper but Chandler grabbed the rebound. Lin took the ball near midcourt and let the clock run down to 5 seconds before driving and pulling up against Calderon to launch the decisive shot, touching off the latest instance of Linsanity.
"(Calderon) was trying to push me left," Lin said. "He was giving me a little bit of space. I just tried to take it down as low as I could. I figured it's probably not going to be possible to get to the basket with the help that they had."
Calderon was surprised to see Lin pull up for the game-winner.
"I thought he was going to drive," Calderon said. "That's why I tried to give him his left hand but he made a great shot."
Calderon was held scoreless in the final quarter, with D'Antoni crediting Shumpert for keeping the Toronto guard in check.
"He did a great job," D'Antoni said. "Shump got on Calderon and changed up everything."
The Raptors had a photo of Lin on their team website in the hours before the game, and his visit generated major interest among Toronto's Asian community, estimated at over 280,000 people, or more than 11 percent of the local population. The Chinese Canadian Youth Athletics Association and the Taiwanese Canadian Association of Toronto both sent groups of almost 300 fans as Toronto sold out for the second time in 13 home games. One group of fans in the upper deck wore white T-shirts spelling out his name.
Not all the fans were so positive: Lin was booed several times throughout the game.
Local media also took note; some 75 reporters and 16 cameras packed a Tuesday morning press conference to hear Lin speak, with dozens more turned away to prevent overcrowding. More than 25 Chinese Canadian journalists were due to cover the game, including one who presented Lin with a book of "Year of the Dragon" stamps from Canada Post and asked him to record a message in Mandarin, which he did.
Even D'Antoni was shocked by the size of the throng upon walking in Tuesday morning for his turn at the microphone.
"Are we in the playoffs now?" D'Antoni joked as he made his way to the front of the room.
It was Calderon, coming off a career-high 30 points in Sunday's loss to the Lakers, who was hot early, scoring 12 points in the first as the Raptors led 28-21 after one. Lin missed his first shot and didn't score until a driving layup with 3:46 left in the first. He had four points and four assists in the opening quarter.
Lin turned the ball over on three straight possessions early in the second and Toronto took advantage with a 6-0 run, widening its lead to 13 points. He also missed a running bank shot as the half ended as the Raptors took a 47-36 lead into the break.
Stoudemire scored seven points and Lin had six points and four assists as the Knicks scored 30 points in the third, but still trailed 75-66 heading into the fourth.
Lin matched a career high with eight turnovers. ... Stoudemire returned after missing the past four games following the death of his older brother, Hazell, who was killed in a car crash. ... Raptors G Jerryd Bayless (left ankle) missed his third straight game. Casey said Bayless could be available for Wednesday's game against San Antonio. ... Before the game, Chandler presented Casey with his NBA championship ring. Both were with Dallas last season when they beat Miami. ... Carmelo Anthony (right groin) missed his fourth straight game. ... New York's 17-point comeback was the biggest by a Toronto opponent this season. ... Musician and actor Steven Van Zandt watched from a courtside seat.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||33-80 (.413)||37-73 (.507)|
|3PM-3PA||6-17 (.353)||4-15 (.267)|
|FTM-FTA||18-27 (.667)||9-15 (.600)|
|Fast Break Points||6||16|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||28 (0/1)|
Next 5 Games
"Tebow Time" was the final 9 minutes of the 4th quarter, in which his total QBR of 85.3 ranked 3rd in the NFL this past season. In the final 9 minutes of the 4th quarter IN THE NBA THIS SEASON, Jeremy Lin ranks 4th in PER (min. 85 minutes). If only there were a final 9:00 stat to get Chuck Norris involved...[+]
Converting Tebow Time to the NBA - Final 9:00 of 4th Quarter
Lin scored 12 of his 27 points in the 4th quarter and he's been great in the final 12 minutes all season -- especially during the Knicks' winning streak. He's scored 82 points in the fourth quarter and just 111 in the first three quarters COMBINED.[+]
Jeremy Lin Points by Quarter During 6-Game Win Streak
Amar'e Stoudemire had seven of his shots blocked Tuesday, matching the most by any player this season. His teammate Carmelo Anthony also had seven shots blocked in a game against the Wizards on Jan. 6. No other player has had more than five shots blocked in a game this season.
Jeremy Lin had his best game from long distance Tuesday against the Raptors, capped off by a game-winning three-pointer. Lin's midrange game was the most reliable part of his offensive arsenal during the first five games of New York's winning streak, but Lin didn't hit a shot between 10-19 feet Tuesday night.[+]
Jeremy Lin Shooting During Win Streak
Lin's teammates struggled to create their own offense Tuesday night, even with the return of Amar'e Stoudemire. Stoudemire and Lin showed chemistry as the game progressed, and Amar'e finished 5-of-10 off Lin passes (3-of-12 in all other situations). Stoudemire's results were typical of the night New York had- when Lin was involved, the other Knicks shot better.[+]
Knicks' Offense, Tuesday vs Raptors
Jeremy Lin and Amar'e Stoudemire were especially effective using the pick-and-roll, a strategy Stoudemire had not used much this season. Stoudemire averaged one field goal attempt per game before Tuesday when using the pick-and-roll offense, and he averaged a half-point more per play Tuesday than he had this season.[+]
Amar'e Stoudemire, Pick and Roll Offense
With 27 points Tuesday, Jeremy Lin stayed atop a list of NBA stars. Lin has 136 points through his 1st 5 starts, the most of any player who began his career after the merger.[+]
From Elias: Jeremy Lin now has 20+ points and 7+ assists in 6 straight games. That's tied for the longest such streak in Knicks history.[+]
Most Consecutive Games with 20+ Pts, 7+ Ast - Knicks History
ESPN Stats & Information