In the absence of top scorer Carmelo Anthony, who injured his groin against the Utah Jazz three days ago, and Amar’e Stoudemire, who will miss four games following the death of his brother in a car accident, Tyson Chandler had 25 points and 11 rebounds for New York.
Lin has become a sensation since he scored 25 points in a win against the New Jersey Nets on Feb. 4 and had a career-high 28 points while making his first start in a victory against the Jazz two nights later.
“After the last game, I wouldn’t have imagined this,” Lin told reporters at the Verizon Center in Washington last night. “But thankful. Very thankful.”
The only player from Harvard University to reach the National Basketball Association since Ed Smith made 11 appearances for the Knicks in 1953-54, Lin is boosting the appeal of the Knicks at home and in Asia. The 6-foot-3, 200- pound (1.91 meter, 91 kilogram) point guard is the first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to join the league.
Within 24 hours of the Utah win, the volume of Knicks tickets selling in the secondary market was four times higher than the daily average, with about 1,125 tickets changing hands.
Ticket Prices Surge
Tickets for tomorrow’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden are going for $141 to as much as $9,905 for courtside seats on the secondary market, according to Seatgeek.com. The average price of a Knicks-Lakers ticket rose 13 percent to $312.51.
While Modell’s Sporting Goods Inc. doesn’t yet carry Lin’s No. 17 jersey, the 23-year-old is on the company’s radar, said Jamal Miller, manager at its Times Square location in New York.
“If our customers dictate that this is something they want us to do, we’re going to take a serious look at it,” Miller said in a telephone interview on Feb. 7.
Lin’s performances in three straight games show that he isn’t a flash in the pan, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said.
“I think it’s real,” D’Antoni told reporters when asked about Lin’s ability. “The thing that’s for real is his vision, which won’t change, his speed, which won’t change, his knowledge of the game, which won’t change. I think it can only get better.”
Last night, Lin had failed to score as the Knicks trailed 23-17 at the end of the first quarter.
Lin got his first points with eight minutes to play in the second quarter when he stole the ball from Jordan Crawford and raced down the court for a layup to cut the Wizards’ lead to 31-28. Two more layups and a jump shot followed as the Knicks led 52-46 at halftime.
Lin opened the second half by scoring off a pass from Chandler before Washington got 10 straight points to retake the lead at 56-54. Lin made a pair of free throws to tie it and, with the Knicks trailing 64-63, added two more points from the free-throw line before two driving layups and a dunk took his tally for the quarter to 12 points as the Knicks led 77-68.
Lin didn’t score again until 4:33 remained in the fourth quarter, when a driving layup made it 98-84 for New York. After making a free throw, his final contribution was to set up a tip- in for Chandler to make it 101-84.
John Wall scored a game-high 29 points for the Wizards. The only other Washington player to reach double figures was Trevor Booker, with 17.
The Wizards (5-21), have now lost 12 of their last 14 meetings with the Knicks (11-15), including eight straight.
Also last night, it was Cleveland 99, Los Angeles Clippers 92; Orlando 102, Miami 89; San Antonio 100, Philadelphia 90; Milwaukee 105, Toronto 99; Atlanta 97, Indiana 87; Detroit 99, New Jersey 92; Chicago 90, New Orleans 67; Memphis 85, Minnesota 80; Dallas 105, Denver 95; and Houston 103, Portland 96.
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