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Lin picks up slack for injured Harden, but Rockets still fall

2012/12/11 19:06:21

Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) Jeremy Lin matched his career high for scoring Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs, but his Houston Rockets still fell to the Spurs 134-126 in overtime at the Toyota Center.

With leading scorer James Harden out with a sprained right ankle, Lin took over some of the scoring burden, breaking out of a season-long shooting slump to lead the Rockets with 38 points.

That tied his previous best, set during his "Linsanity" streak with the New York Knicks in February when he scored 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers to outshine Kobe Bryant.

Lin made 11 of 21 shots from the floor, including 4 of 5 from three-point range, and was a perfect 12 of 12 from the free-throw line.

San Antonio guard Tony Parker had his first career triple-double to lead the Spurs, though both he and Lin were relatively quiet in the overtime period, when San Antonio outscored Houston 14-6.

Parker, in an interview with the Houston Chronicle prior to the game, said he saw similarities between the 24-year-old Harvard graduate and himself during the early stage of his NBA career a decade ago.

"When I first came into the league, I was a little raw. I was very aggressive. At the same time, I had to learn the point guard position and when to score, when to pass and try to find that happy middle, find the balance. I think Jeremy Lin is at that point," said 30-year-old Parker.

Prior to the game against the Spurs, Lin had only made 38.1 percent of his shots this season and only 26.5 percent from behind the three-point arc, compared with 44.6 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point range with the Knicks last season.

Parker felt confident, however, that Lin's shooting would improve and that better shooting would greatly help his game.

"When I start making the outside jumper on a consistent basis, that's when I was more consistent with my performance," Parker said.

"He's trying to find his position on the team. And he needs to fit with another guy who is very aggressive with James Harden. I had to do the same thing when I had Manu Ginobili being super aggressive. You have to find your spots. He will."

(By Lin Hung-han, Oscar Wu and Kendra Lin)