NBA 2012 schedule: Spurs, Thunder face off, Jeremy Lin heads back to MSG


A rematch of last year's Western Conference Finals between the Spurs and Thunder and Jeremy Lin's first game in Madison Square Garden since going to the Rockets this offseason are the top games on Monday night.

A showdown between the two best teams in the Western Conference and Jeremy Lin's return to Madison Square Garden highlights a Monday night with six NBA games.

The streaking Oklahoma City Thunder have won 10 straight to pass the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the Western Conference: the trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Martin is just as good scoring the ball as it was with James Harden instead of Martin, as the former Houston Rocket is still shooting 46.8 percent from three-point range. San Antonio remains ageless with only six losses on the year thanks to what could be the best season of Tony Parker's career. The first meeting between two teams that squared off in last year's Western Conference Finals came down to the wire, as Parker drained a midrange jumper for an 86-84 win.

Despite a huge hubbub over Lin's unceremonious offseason departure, the Knicks haven't missed Lin much: They're an Eastern Conference best 18-5, and at the point guard spot, Raymond Felton picked up where he left off before the Carmelo Anthony trade, averaging 16.9 points and 6.8 assists while Jason Kidd plays the role of a seasoned vet keeping the offense under control. But one of those five losses on the year came against Lin's Rockets, with Harden and Chandler Parsons each going over 30 points in a 131-101 win. Harden is carrying the team with 25 points per game, but Lin seems to be a dependable starting NBA guard, averaging 10.8 points and 6.0 assists with many of his turnover problems from last year solved.

Here's a look at Monday night's full schedule, all times are Eastern:

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Orlando Magic, 7 p.m., Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Florida

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Detroit Pistons, 7:30 p.m., PRIME, Fox Sports Detroit

Houston Rockets vs. New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m., NBATV, MSG, Comcast SportsNet Houston

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m., Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Oklahoma

Chicago Bulls vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 8 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Chicago, SportSouth

Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m., Comcast SportsNet California, Fox Sports Arizona

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