Jeremy Lin scored 28 points and handed out a career-high 14 assists to lead the New York Knicks to a 104-97 win over Dallas that halted the National Basketball Association-champion Mavericks’ six-game winning streak.
Lin rebounded from his first loss in eight games since taking over as the starting point guard, helping the Knicks outscore the Mavericks 32-22 during the final quarter yesterday at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“I was watching them win the championship last year and that’s obviously where this team wants to go,” Lin, who added five steals, said at a news conference. “This is helpful to see where our team can go and what we can become.”
The Knicks have won eight of their past nine NBA games to even their record at 16-16 and tie the Boston Celtics for second place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.
Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 34 points for the Mavericks (20-12), who are second in the Western Conference’s Southwest Division, 2 1/2 games behind the San Antonio Spurs.
Lin, a Harvard University graduate who was cut by two NBA teams before joining the Knicks in late December, hit 11-of-20 shots to lead six players who scored more than 10 points for New York. J.R. Smith came off the bench to score 15 points in his Knicks debut, having signed with the team three days ago after playing in China during the NBA lockout.
Tyson Chandler and Steve Novak each scored 14 points, while Landry Fields had 13 and Amar’e Stoudemire added 11 for the Knicks, who played their seventh straight game without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony. Anthony is set to return from his groin injury today when the Knicks host the New Jersey Nets.
“We should be really good,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “It’s easy to say that on paper, and our chemistry has to get right and everybody has to adjust. It might not be perfect the first week, but the potential is there and its our job to maximize that potential.”
Lin finished with seven turnovers, two days after he had nine in a 89-85 loss to the New Orleans Hornets. While Lin is averaging 25 points and 9.5 assists as a starter, he also has committed 52 turnovers in those eight games.
“Still a few turnovers, but the game he had was ridiculous,” D’Antoni said of Lin. “He makes big plays and he’s definitely fearless.”
The Mavericks trailed 32-20 after one quarter yesterday and 48-45 at halftime before using a 23-12 third-quarter scoring run to open a 70-60 lead.
The Knicks rallied in the fourth quarter as Novak scored all 14 of his points and hit four 3-pointers.
Lin also hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final quarter, including one with just under three minutes left after Dallas had pulled within two points.
“We came out and we moved the ball and had a lot of people who contributed,” Lin said. “Across the board the efficiency was there from everybody. When you play like that on offense and you have a lot of weapons going, something is going to open up.”