Late Surge by Lin '10 Not Enough to Stop Rockets' Skid

Published by Juliet Spies-Gans on January 17, 2013 at 10:12PM

With a little less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Linsanity was alive and well once more Wednesday night. Jeremy Lin ’10 had just scored 12 points in six minutes, bringing his Houston Rockets squad back from a double-digit deficit to within one of the Dallas Mavericks. But as Lin’s next shot from the charity stripe missed off the rim, Houston’s efforts fell short as well, and it ultimately lost, 105-100.

Lin’s onslaught in the final period, which made up a large portion of his team’s 15-4 closing run, totaled 74 percent of his points on the night. For the second straight game the Harvard alum shot just under 50 percent from the field while putting up a negative efficiency rating.

While Houston’s backcourt, consisting of Lin and shooting guard James Harden, had recorded an average of 6.74 turnovers per game prior to Wednesday’s contest, the duo almost doubled that number against Dallas. The two combined for 11 mistakes, something that Lin deemed to be a deciding factor in the contest.

“We were a little too nonchalant with our passes,” Lin said. “We tried to force it a couple of times. I had a key turnover down the stretch that was unnecessary.”

Harden echoed Lin’s sentiments, stressing the unnecessarily high level of difficulty that he believed Houston added to the contest.

“You’ve just got to make the easy play,” Harden explained. “We were trying to do a little too much, one extra dribble too much.”

With the loss, Houston’s fifth straight, the Rockets fall to 20-19 on the season, half of a game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. While Lin’s squad remains in playoff position at the moment, the tightly packed nature of the West means that it may take as little as three more losses to go from eighth to eleventh seed, from battling in the postseason to fighting for a better pick in the draft lottery. Houston heads to Indiana next, where it’ll take on a 24-16 Pacers team that trails the Miami Heat by only two games for the top spot in the East.