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Tuesday February 21, 2012

Lin shines as New York Knicks rebound to beat Mavericks

NEW YORK: The New York Knicks rebounded from their first loss of Jeremy Lin’s magical run to defeat the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks 104-97 on Sunday.

Just two days after committing a season-high nine turnovers in a loss to New Orleans, the 23-year-old Lin bounced back in superb fashion against the mighty Mavericks.

“We are thankful for any win we can get but obviously this is a big one because they are defending champions,” Lin said.

Point guard Lin finished with a team-high 28 points, 14 assists and five steals for the Knicks, who beat Dallas for the first time at Madison Square Garden in over six years.

“The game that he had, that’s ridiculous,” said Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. “It just seems the harder the moment, the better he shoots the ball. He makes big plays. He’s definitely fearless.

“The thing that you can’t teach is what he has inside, his heart. You just can’t teach that, and he has it. His brain, his heart, it’s huge.”

Center Tyson Chandler finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds and veteran shooting guard J.R. Smith had 15 points in his first start of the season for the Knicks.

Smith signed with New York Friday after a stint playing in China.

Lin said teams are trying to make it harder on him on offense by double-teaming him.

“I am being aggressive and trying to learn from my mistakes,” he said. “They are double-teaming me on the pick and roll.”

The Lin era got its launch when the former part-time player was called upon with two starters missing, and he answered with the most points of any NBA player in his first five starts since the NBA and ABA merged in 1976.

The fairy-tale rise to fame of Lin, the first US-born NBA player of Taiwanese and Chinese heritage, is further enhanced because he was cut by two clubs before the season started. — AFP

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