After having its seven-game winning streak snapped on Friday night, the New York Knicks, largely thanks to another big game from Jeremy Lin ’10, bounced right back for a win on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Dallas Mavericks, 104-97.
Coming off arguably his worst performance since entering the starting lineup night, Lin played Sunday’s game like he had something to prove. Although he still committed seven turnovers, the former Harvard co-captain recorded 28 points, a career-high 14 assists, and five steals.
“I think right now I’m being aggressive and learning a lot from my mistakes,” Lin told Metro New York after the game. “I am trying to play the way I’m supposed to play, which is aggressive and putting pressure on defense.”
The game was full of momentum swings, and when it seemed to be getting away from the Knicks, Lin stepped up his game. Down 70-58 with 4:17 left in the third quarter, Lin led his team on a 14-5 burst, contributing eight points. His steal and dunk with 12.5 seconds left narrowed New York’s deficit to three, 75-72.
Even Jason Kidd, the Mavs’ point guard, seemed impressed by Lin.
“He’s a great kid,” Kidd told ESPN New York after the game. “He’s very humble, and he plays extremely hard.… He plays the game the right way.”
Lin, in his first eight starts as an NBA point guard, has scored 200 and had 76 assists. To put those numbers in perspective, Isiah Thomas had 184 points and 51 assists while Magic Johnson had 147 points and 57 assists in their first eight starts.
A number of celebrities, including Eva Longoria, Kevin Costner, and Seth Meyer, were reportedly on hand to witness Linsanity. Spike Lee, a staple at Madison Square Garden, was sporting a No. 4 jersey from Lin’s days playing for the Crimson. Lin wasn’t the only Harvard alum in the building though, as Mark Zuckerberg also made an appearance in the stands.