In less than a week New York Knicks starting point guard Jeremy Lin has started to revive the fortunes of his club while becoming the fastest rising star in the entire Association. The 23-year-old native of Palo Alto, California who went to school at Harvard and was not drafted by any team in the NBA has turned into the “Biggest Star On Broadway” and starting to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents.
Friday night the Knicks hosted the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden and once again the team was without the services of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. The two highly paid superstars were not needed as Lin knocked down a career high 38 points and the team from New York won their fourth game in a row as they defeated Los Angeles 92-85. The Knicks point guard was basically a one-man wrecking crew as just two of his teammates scored in double figures.
Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant had told reporters earlier this week that he was rather unfamiliar with what the guard had accomplished in his previous three games. He would get to see it for himself up close and personal on Friday night as Los Angeles could not figure out to contain him. The Lakers shot just an anemic 37.5% (30-80) from the floor in the contest with Bryant notching a double-double with 34 points while Pau Gasol also recorded a double-double including 16 points for the night. They would not get enough support from the rest of their squad to get their second win in a row after defeating the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
Neither team looked impressive offensively in the first quarter; however the Lakers appeared to need a road map to find the basket. Landry Fields split a pair at the line with 1:17 remaining in the period and New York would be on top 22-15 at the conclusion of the quarter. The Knicks jumped ahead by double-digits early in the second and their opponents would never get closer than trailing by six points at any time during the period. Gasol hit a mid-range jumper with 18 seconds to play however as the game reached the half Los Angeles would find themselves behind by eight points with the score 49-41.
The Lakers would make a run in the third and with 3:54 left in the period Steve Blake nailed a 23 foot trey cutting New York’s advantage to 57-53. That would be as close as Los Angeles could get in the period as the Knicks would lead 66-60 at the end of the quarter. Jason Kapono drained a 23 foot trey with 9:29 left in the game bringing the Lakers within three points with the score 70-67. The visitors would never be that close for the remainder of the contest as Lin scored 11 points during the period including a three point shot from 23 feet out with 5:35 to play to give the Knicks their biggest lead of the game at 84-71. The Lakers never could regroup and the home team won the game with ease.
Lin knocked down a career high 38 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in just his third start in the Association. Iman Shumpert came off the bench with 12 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals while Jared Jeffries added 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Bryant scored 34 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in the game. Gasol had 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist and 1 steal while Matt Barnes came off the bench with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. New York now stands at 12-15 and will head to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Saturday while Los Angeles has a record of 15-12 and they will be in Toronto on Sunday to face the Raptors.