Coming off a resounding, 22-point defeat at the hands of Oklahoma City last Wednesday in which Houston guards Jeremy Lin ’10 and James Harden went a combined 6-of-23 from the field, the Rockets bounced right back this week to rack up two wins.
And playing against the Jazz Saturday night, Lin posted one of his best performances of the year.
In a high-scoring affair, the Harvard grad went 8-of-14 from the field to contribute 19 points—just two short of his season high—in the 124-116 Houston win.
Lin was productive all night, effectively distributing the ball to his teammates to amass eight assists while accumulating just two turnovers.
With Lin at the point spreading the ball around, seven of nine Rockets players that saw action reached double digits in scoring, and the team’s top four scorers were all within two points of each other.
"There's a lot more balance, and I think the ball is moving," Lin told the New York Times after the game. "It's starting to look more and more dangerous."
Last year, with the entire nation tuned in, Lin scored a sparkling 38 points to outduel Kobe Bryant in a big win for the New York Knicks.
Lin’s next matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday went slightly different. Bryant eclipsed Lin’s previous performance, netting 39 points, while Lin contributed relatively little and only scored four.
But despite Lin being a relative nonfactor and Bryant’s big day, Houston was able to snag a close win, 107-105, and rose to a 9-8 record that bumped the team above .500 for the first time since the beginning of the season.
The game went down to the wire, and two missed shots by Bryant and Metta World Peace in the closing seconds helped seal the win for the Rockets.
Lin played only 20 minutes in the contest, less than each of Houston’s other starters and three players who came off the bench. The point guard also coughed the ball up twice and tallied only three assists.
Harden also struggled to find the bottom of the net, going a rough 3-of-19 from the field. But the Rockets’ bench picked up the slack, with three reserves either exceeding or equaling Harden’s 15 points.
Houston, which has won five of its last six games, will look to continue its hot streak, and Lin will attempt to bounce back on Friday in a tough matchup with the San Antonio Spurs.