Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin, shooting a fade away jump shot over Los Angeles Lakers forward Earl Clark Tuesday, had a sensational game against the Lakers. (Photo : Reuters)
For the second time this week, Jeremy Lin channeled his early 2012 mojo and delivered another "Linsanity"- like performance at the expense of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and the hapless L.A. Lakers Tuesday.
After a quiet first half, Lin exploded for 16 of his 19 points in the second half, coupled with five assists, as he and fellow backcourt star James Harden combined for 50 points to help the Rockets topple the Lakers 125-112 in Houston.
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On a night where Nash made history with his record 10,000th assist, Lin and Harden spoiled the moment by taking full advantage of the absence of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol in the post, the lack of defense in the middle allowing Lin and Harden to blitz down the middle at will while finding Houston reserve Carlos Delfino open for several three pointers that kept the Lakers at bay.
The third quarter saw some of Lin's finest plays.
With 10:32 to go in the quarter, Lin would catch a feed from Harden to sink a three-pointer at the top of the key to put Houston within five, trailing 67-62.
With 8:37 to go in the third, watch Lin catch a feed from Parsons in the wings to drive into the lane and score for a three-point play:
Then with 7:21 in the period, Lin would summon a burst of speed that would blow past several defenders right to the basket for another two points.
Later in the third, with 2:02 left, Lin would fake out the Lakers' Metta World Peace with a faux-pass, only to hit with a clutch shot that would put the Rockets up 89-80.
And in the fourth quarter, with 4:57 left, Lin would put the exclamation point on his night, driving past World Peace in the left wing and shaking off a hard foul to score a layup on another three-point play to put the Rockets up 112-98. The play can be found at the 4:25 mark:
With the All-Star Game voting due to close in days, Jan. 14 being the cut-off date for final voting, Lin's second consecutive strong offensive performance could give him a late voting surge to start for the West when the game comes to Houston on Feb. 17. If he strings together a few more of these kind of games before the deadline, it might be hard to keep him out of the game.