The basketball-loving city of New York is currently in a mild tizzy over the revelatory play of Jeremy Lin, after Lin shot 58.8% from the field to score 28 points and dished out 8 assists (both career-highs) against the Utah Jazz in a 99-88 win.
Starting for the first time in his career, Lin wowed the home crowd at Madison Square Garden with reverse lay-ups and well-timed passes to Tyson Chandler, in an encore performance of his 25-point effort against the New Jersey Nets.
Lin stepped in to carry the Knicks after key players were absent: starting power forward Amare Stoudemire left the team to be with family after the death of his older brother, while Carmelo Anthony left the game with a groin injury in the first quarter.
Though he started to lose control of the ball in the second half by giving up 8 turnovers, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni had enough faith in Lin to keep him in the game:
“I’m riding him like freaking Secretariat. I was going to take him out, and he looked at me and said, ‘I don’t want to come out.’ Jeremy kind of settles everything, puts everything in perspective, and we can build on that. We hope. I don’t want to get too far ahead, but I am excited.”
Lin looks to get another chance to prove he’s no fluke against John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night (8am Thursday in China), since Anthony and Stoudemire both look to be absent for the next game. To get tickets to the Knicks vs. Wizards game at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., click here.
Related: Watch: NY Knicks’ Jeremy Lin goes nova against the NJ Nets in 99-92 win