NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks drives past Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jeremy Lin's 13 assists led the New York Knicks to their seventh straight win, this one over the Sacramento Kings 100-85.
Well, Linsanity wasn't quite as Linsane as it had been in prior games, but it wasn't exactly needed in this one. Jeremy Lin broke his streak of six consecutive games of 20 or more points, but finished with 10 and a career-high 13 assists in the Knicks' seventh straight victory. New York pretty much cruised to a 100-85 win over the Kings in New York.
Both teams were playing in the second of a back-to-back, but only one looked the part. The Kings came out meek as ever, shooting miserably for pretty much the entire game and repeatedly collapsing on defense. They concentrated way too hard on Lin, over-helping on his drives to the rim and allowing him clear lanes for feeds to his big men and shooters.
And those big men and shooters finished the job more often than not. The Knicks got incredibly balanced scoring, with seven guys reaching double-digit point totals and Tyson Chandler finishing with nine. Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire (in his second game back since leaving the team to mourn the death of his brother) both slammed home a number of splendid Lin feeds, and Landry Fields snuck baseline to tomahawk Linsane alley-oops and lead passes.
The Knicks built a quick double-digit lead, and were only momentarily threatened in the second quarter before racing ahead and never looking back again. The game felt pretty much over in the second quarter, and Sacramento couldn't be bothered to muster a run on the road. For the folks at Sactown Royalty, the game wasn't just bad, it was boring:
What a miserable game to watch. With all the hype and energy surrounding thecurrently and the way these have stepped up playing in the Garden the last few years, you'd think that they'd come out looking to prove something. Instead the Kings came out flat and stayed that way much of the night.
Indeed, the Kings offered very little resistance, though some credit must be given to Lin for continuing his fine play against another defense keyed on stopping him. While other teams have looked to hedge and trap on his pick-and-roll plays, the Kings just ball-chased and mobbed the guy. Instead of forcing the action (something he's been prone to do in stretches), Lin kept his dribble and waited patiently for an outlet so as to the exploit the Kings' willingness to leave men open. And, many open men later, the Knicks had their seventh straight win.