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New York at Minnesota

Lin leads Knicks to fifth straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- In his first three starts, Jeremy Lin's out-of-nowhere emergence all but saved the New York Knicks' season.

In his fourth, his teammates returned the favor.

Lin hit a free throw with 4.9 seconds left to overcome a dreadful second half and lift the Knicks to their fifth straight victory, 100-98, over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Steve Novak scored 15 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer with 36 seconds to play and Lin used his quickness to draw a foul and get to the line in the closing seconds. He finished with 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Lin had just five points on 1-for-13 shooting and four turnovers in the second half. But Landry Fields and Iman Shumpert combined for 39 points on 17-for-26 shooting to keep an exhausted Lin in position for one final push.

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"It was an ugly one, it was a gutsy one, it was a road win, everybody was tired," Lin said. "That's the beauty of basketball. That's the beauty of our time. We never gave up."

Kevin Love had 32 points and 21 rebounds for the Wolves, who missed two chances to win the game in the final five seconds.

The Knicks trailed by seven with 6:41 to play and it looked as if a week of Tebow-like hype was finally catching up to Lin. His shot selection was erratic, his ball-handling was sloppy and his jersey was drenched with sweat as fired-up Wolves fans chanted "Over-rated!"

But the Wolves scored a season-low 11 points and missed 16 of their 19 shots in the fourth quarter to let the Knicks hang around, and Lin managed to find the energy for one final drive to the basket.

Playing yet again without the injured Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, who was mourning the death of his brother, Fields scored 19 on 8-for-10 shooting and Shumpert added 20 points.

Fields hit a short jumper to make the score 94-93 with 2:10 to go and Shumpert added another for a 95-94 lead with 1:22 to go to give them their first lead since early in the second quarter.

But Love, who had 31 points and 31 rebounds in win over the Knicks last year, hit two free throws and Rubio drove to the rim for a left-handed layup for a three-point lead with 39 seconds to play.

Novak's 3-pointer tied it at 98 on the next possession and Lin drew a foul from Luke Ridnour to get to the line. He missed the front end of a pair of free throws before sinking the go-ahead shot.

"Once I missed the first one, I was fine," Lin said sheepishly. "I just needed to shoot that first one and get it out of the way. The first one's always the tough one."

Bill Walker added free throws to seal it for the Knicks, who scored 29 points on 23 Minnesota turnovers. Two of those came from Rubio in the final minute.

"I just made two huge mistakes," Rubio said. "I have to learn from that."

The matchup of two of the most dynamic young point guards in the league made this an extremely hot ticket. The Timberwolves sold standing-room only tickets to pack in an announced crowd of 20,232, the largest crowd here since 2004.

Lin and Rubio were the headliners, with each having energized dormant franchises in their own way.

Rubio's unselfish play and flair for the dramatic have made the Wolves cool again, as evidenced by the fifth sellout this season.

The Knicks were lost at 8-15, with rumors of Mike D'Antoni's job security swirling before the coach moved to Lin out of desperation.

All he's done since is re-ignite a basketball-loving city's enthusiasm for the game, help fill the league's void in Asia after Yao Ming's retirement and help the Knicks survive the losses of Anthony and Stoudemire.

He scored 89 points in his first three starts, including an incredible 38 to beat the Lakers in the Garden on Friday night. His 109 points are the most by a player in his first four starts since the ABA-NBA merger, surpassing Allen Iverson.

"It's been unbelievable," center Tyson Chandler said. "He's really changed the mindset and mentality of this team."

The first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent is already drawing the casual fan even in road games. He was cheered heartily in pregame introductions and gave the curious crowd exactly what it was looking for. His quickness gave Rubio fits on defense and he scored in every manner imaginable.

There was the crossover of Luke Ridnour and step-back jumper, a tear-drop drive into the lane and stutter-step blow-by for two, and that was just in a three-minute stretch of the first quarter.

"In the first half he killed us in the pick-and-rolls," Rubio said. "He drives and scores and creates baskets, too."

As he emerged from the shower long after the game was over and limped to his locker, Lin fell into his chair and let out a big sigh.

"I just feel like I'm in a dream right now," Lin said. "Tomorrow is an off day. I can't wait."


  • The Timberwolves wore Minnesota Muskies uniforms in tribute to the ABA team that spent one season here in 1967. "I'm still trying to figure out what a Muskie is," F Anthony Tolliver said.
  • Timberwolves C Darko Milicic missed his fifth straight game with a sprained right ankle. Coach Rick Adelman said he hoped Milicic would be ready for the game Monday at Orlando.
  • The Wolves in-house DJ played Whitney Houston songs during halftime after news of the singer's death at 48.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Jeremy Lin doesn't have his best of games (six turnovers) but he does more than enough to help the Knicks continue to win. (Getty Images)
Jeremy Lin doesn't have his best of games (six turnovers) but he does more than enough to help the Knicks continue to win. (Getty Images)
New York (13-15) «30242818100
Minnesota (13-15)3329251198
NY:I. Shumpert 20 Pts
NY:J. Jeffries 8 Reb
NY:J. Lin 8 Ast
MIN:K. Love 32 Pts
MIN:K. Love 21 Reb
MIN:R. Rubio 8 Ast
Players of the Game
New YorkMinnesota

Jeremy Lin

Kevin Love

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New York
J. Lin, PG398-244-768320
T. Chandler, C376-100-273512
L. Fields, SG358-103-444219
J. Jeffries, PF303-52-48148
B. Walker, SG240-53-42213
S. Novak, SF295-101-160115
I. Shumpert, PG299-160-012620
M. Bibby, PG161-40-04003
B. Davis, PGDid Not Play
A. Stoudemire, PFDid Not Play
C. Anthony, SFDid Not Play
R. Balkman, SFDid Not Play
J. Harrellson, CDid Not Play
T. Douglas, PGDid Not Play
J. Jordan, CDid Not Play
Totals 40-8413-22382022100
K. Love, PF4310-2110-10210332
R. Rubio, PG355-152-228212
N. Pekovic, C309-103-3132421
L. Ridnour, PG272-70-00165
W. Johnson, SG170-20-01010
M. Beasley, PF313-91-22018
J. Barea, PG214-102-235111
D. Williams, PF143-60-03126
W. Ellington, SG110-30-00110
M. Webster, SG101-10-01003
B. Miller, CDid Not Play
D. Milicic, CDid Not Play
A. Tolliver, PFDid Not Play
A. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
M. Lee, SGDid Not Play
Totals 37-8418-1946182198
Other Games
Den 113 Final
Ind 109
LAC 111 Final
Char 86
Phi 99 Final
Cle 84
SA 103 Final
NJ 89
Port 94 Final
Dal 97
Orl 99 Final
Mil 94
Pho 98 Final
Sac 84