Jeremy Lin had the worst of his five games as the New York Knicks' go-to point guard on Saturday night in Minnesota. And yet he still got the Knicks a 100-98 victory over the Timberwolves, with the game-winning free throw with mere seconds left.
Lin's free throw with 4.9 seconds left gave the Knicks a 99-98 lead, their first since the second quarter, as a 12-4 run to close the game by the Knicks gave New York a theft of a win on the road. Lin had 20 points, reaching the 20-point plateau for the fifth time in the Knicks' five-game winning streak, but needed 24 shots to get them, and had six turnovers to go with his eight assists.
Credit Ricky Rubio for a lot of that: the long-limbed rookie made Lin's life more difficult on the offensive end, and collected three steals and a block. But despite Rubio's 12 points and eight assists, he also made the most critical mistake for the Wolves, dribbling the ball off his foot on the possession immediately after Lin's free throw.
Bill Walker added a final free throw for the two-point margin of victory for the Knicks. Iman Shumpert contributed 20 points off the bench for New York before fouling out, and Steve Novak had 15 points and four threes.
Lin and the Knicks will go for their sixth straight win on Tuesday against the Raptors. Forward Amar'e Stoudemire is expected back for that game.