The Toronto Raptors had done a good job all night on the newly engergized, Jeremy Lin-led New York Knicks. Through almost 44 minutes they had taken hold of the lead and knocked back every single attempt by their guests to grasp it. But in the last four minutes, the Knicks defense cranked up and Lin hit two big three-point plays to rob the Raptors and make it a Knicks 90-87 win.
Jose Calderon was a huge piece of the action for Toronto, and through three quarters Calderon scorched Lin and the Knicks for 25 points, seven assists and only two turnovers. Calderon's fourth quarter, however, was interrupted by Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert.
Shumpert switched over to Calderon for the final nine minutes of the game and immediately threw off the rhythm he had established throughout the game. Calderon did not score in the fourth quarter, as Shumpert barely allowed him to halfcourt before getting up into his jersey.
Meanwhile the Knicks, who had scored only 36 points in the first half, were busy getting their offense back on track after getting down as much as 17 points to the Raptors.
It was the first game back to the lineup for Amare Stoudemire since the newly minted Jeremy Lin era raced out to a 5-0 record. Stoudemire, who shot 8-22 for his 21 points, worked well with Lin for a couple of pick and roll hoops including a nice fourth quarter dunk after Lin drove to the hoop and wrapped a pass back around to Amare for the jam.
With a little more than four minutes left, the Raptors still had a nine-point lead and had forced Lin into seven turnovers with an eighth coming a minute later. Then the New York defense clamped down.
Calderon turned the ball over twice, including a sweet steal by Shumpert who took the ball down the court and jammed. Then it was Tyson Chandler's turn, smushing a DeMar DeRozan shot attempt to set up the Knicks latest big finish.
Lin, who had 15 points and 11 assists to begin to offset the eight turnovers at that point, took the ball inside when he saw a crease, drew contact from Amir Johnson and made the basket. After Lin made the free throw and Leandro Barbosa missed his shot, Shumpert missed his shot, but Chandler was there to get it back for the Knicks and threw it back to Shumpert. Chandler immediately motioned to get the ball into Lin's hands.
On the deciding shot, Lin motioned for everyone to get back along the baseline, in order to isolate against his in-game nemesis Calderon. After watching Lin go and get to the hoop on a number of occasions one can understand when Calderon looked around for help and gave ground by a half step as the clock wound down.
It was all Lin needed.
Seeing the chance to take the game-winning shot, he did so and sank it true, leaving the Knicks a winner and 6-0 in the Lin Era. Linsanity, indeed.