NEW YORK – Jeremy Lin’s New York Knicks kicked off the second half of their season in winning style Wednesday, by rallying from a 12 point halftime deficit to rout the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-103.
Lin finished with 19 points, 13 assists and five rebounds for the Knicks who scored 71 points in the second half at Madison Square Garden arena.
Guard Lin also had just one turnover Wednesday, the fewest he has had in a start this season.
“It is unbelievable what he is doing,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said of Lin.
D’Antoni said the coaching staff must take some of the blame for the high number of turnovers Lin had been recording in some of the games this season.
“One turnover tonight. Once we get other people to help him out he is not going to have eight turnovers. He he has had one bad game so this is unbelievable,” D’Antoni said.
Carmelo Anthony, who recently returned from injury, scored 22 points and forward Steve Novak came off the bench to score 17 points, including five three pointers, for the Knicks who had six players finish in double figures.
“It was a great comeback,” said Anthony, who has struggled through an injury-plagued season. “In the first half we still had our all-star break legs, but in the second half we made some adjustments and went after it.”
Anthony played his best game alongside Lin, who carried the Knicks on his back with their $18 million dollar a year star forward out of the lineup.
“We need Jeremy. He is a big piece of our team,” Anthony said Wednesday.
It was the first regular season game for Lin since he took part in his maiden all-star game weekend.
Lin and the Knicks struggled mightily going into the all-star break in a one-sided loss to the Miami Heat, falling 102-88 last Thursday. Lin shot just one-of-11 against the Heat but looked to have more energy against the Cavaliers.
“I am happy it wasn’t eight turnovers like Miami,” said Lin. “I am happy with just one turnover. If I can keep it to three or less then I am pleased.”
Lin has been the NBA’s biggest story this season, coming off the Knicks bench after being cut by two other clubs to put in the best performance of any NBA player in his first 10 starts since 1976.
Lin, whose parents are from Taiwan, became a phenomenon because of his scoring, averaging over 20 points a game, his passing skills and his clutch shooting ability, including a last-second game winner at Toronto.