Jeremy Lin’s six-game winning streak as starting point guard for the New York Knicks ended with an 89-85 loss to the New Orleans Hornets, who entered the game with the National Basketball Association’s second-worst record.
“I don’t think he expected to go without a defeat this year,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters after Lin’s first loss as a starter. “I think he’s fine.”
The 23-year-old Lin had 26 points, nine turnovers and five assists last night as the Knicks’ seven-game winning streak came to an end.
“Nine turnovers is obviously never going to get it done from your primary ballhandler,” Lin told reporters. “I think everyone wants to credit me for this last seven games, then I definitely deserve this one on my shoulders.”
Lin, who went 8-for-18 from the field, had eight turnovers in the first half.
“I just told him he was trying to make the hardest pass out there, he was trying to make the home run pass,” D’Antoni said, referring to Lin’s turnovers. “That’ll happen for young guys.”
Trevor Ariza had 25 points for the shorthanded Hornets (7-23), while point guard Greivis Vasquez added 15 points and 11 rebounds with three turnovers at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“It’s the NBA, man,” Vasquez told reporters. “I mean, the kid is really good. I love his passion. What I love about him is he is so humble. He deserves everything he got right now and everything he is going through because, you know, the way he handles himself.
‘Little Bit Different’
‘‘But tonight it was a little bit different,’’ Vasquez added. ‘‘We came out and played great team defense.’’
New Orleans, which has won three straight games and ended a six-game losing streak against the Knicks, was without leading scorer Eric Gordon and leading rebounder Emeka Okafor, both sidelined with knee injuries.
The Knicks (15-16) played their sixth straight game without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who remains sidelined with a groin injury.
New York-area customers of Time Warner Cable Inc. were able to watch the game after Madison Square Garden Co. and the cable company reached an agreement on a new contract yesterday, ending a seven-week stalemate that blacked out Knicks games in their home market.
The average ticket price for last night’s game on the secondary market was $557, triple the price of less than two weeks earlier, according to TiqIQ, an aggregator of the online resale market. Tickets were averaging $181 on Feb. 7, the morning after Lin first joined the starting lineup, TiqIQ said.