KNICKS 99 JAZZ 88| MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
Lin Nation is growing by the second as Jeremy Lin once again worked his magic in a 99-88 victory over the Jazz on Monday night. The former D-Leaguer earned his first start in a Knicks uniform and led his squad to a win without their leading scorer Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Anthony suffered a right groin strain in the first quarter, sidelining him for the remainder of the game. Stoudemire left the team due to the unfortunate death of his older brother. Even Tyson Chandler dealt with foul trouble throughout the contest, leaving the Knicks shorthanded and undersized against a deep Jazz team.
Lin eclipsed his previous career-high from Saturday night with 28 points and eight assists in 44 minutes of action. The point guard had the Garden crowd eating out of the palm of his hand with a jaw-dropping layup, where he moved the ball from one side to the other while taking the contact and finishing the bucket. Lin completed the old fashioned three-point play to give New York a 90-80 cushion with just four minutes left in the game.
The Knicks captured their second straight victory at home as the fans altered their chants from J-E-R-E-M-Y to M-V-P in only a matter two days. Even the visiting Super Champion New York Giants were overshadowed by the scoring outburst. In the third quarter, the Knicks built an 11-point lead behind another unsuspecting hero on Monday night. Steve Novak drilled five three-pointers and finished with a season-19 points. The sharpshooter sprinted to open spots on the perimeter, where he was deadly in only 17 minutes of action.
The Knicks improved to 10-15 while Utah fell to 13-10 and just 2-6 on the road.
“Basketball is fun when you play on a team that wants to work together, work through tough times and have victories like this one. This win was ugly but we made plays. This team has will.” -- Jeremy Lin
Against one of the top rebounding teams in the league, New York found a way to win the battle of the boards. The Knicks outrebounded the Jazz by a slight 38-36 margin on Monday.
Lin shot 10-of-17 from the floor and hit 7-of-9 free throw attempts in another efficient evening. Additionally, he dished out eight assists and was the catalyst for the New York offense. He was exceptional in the pick-and-roll game, finding small spaces inside the paint or creating open shots for his teammates.
The Knicks will practice tomorrow afternoon at Madison Square Garden Training Center before boarding a flight to Washington. Wednesday night will feature a Lin-John Wall matchup as New York searches for three straight victories.