NBA -- Linsanity returns, crushes New York
By Reynaldo Seno
Wed, 19 Dec 2012
NEW YORK -- Jeremy Lin returned to the scene where his legend unfolded while subbing as a Knicks point guard last season. And though he wore enemy colors this time, "Linsanity" brought the same awe and devastation that had made him a league-wide phenomenon.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Lin tormented the Knicks with 22 points, eight assists and two steals while James Harden added 28 points and ten rebounds to put a nice bow on the Rockets' impressive 109-96 triumph at the packed Madison Square Garden.
"We're just thankful to get the win. It was a lot of fun playing out there and I think our team, we took a step in the right direction. It was great to be back and it was a lot of fun to play on that court again, Lin told NBA.com.
And while Lin and the improved 12-12 Rockets sure had fun, the host Knicks labored in misery and took an ugly first step in their six-game home stand. The Knicks converted only 39-of-90 (43.3 percent) from the field including 9-for-31 from 3-land (29 percent).
New York, though, still paces the Eastern Conference with an 18-6 record, 1.5 games ahead of the 15-6 Miami Heat.
Playing without All-Star Carmelo Anthony and veteran Rasheed Wallace, the Knicks trailed early, 20-13 early. Despite their shooting struggles, the Knicks faced only a manageable 67-55 deficit with still 5:16 left in the third quarter, but when Harden knocked a pair of 3s and Lin swished a lay-up, the dam broke --- 75-55.
Chris Copeland, who started for the ailing Anthony, finished with a game-high 29 points. But Raymond Felton, the wily veteran who inherited the keys to the Knicks offense after New York refused to match Houston's $25.1 million free agent deal last summer, played painfully under par.
Felton only had 14 points, four assists and three turnovers. He missed 11 of 18 field goals including 0-for-4 above the three-point arc. (Reynaldo Seno)
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