Jeremy Lin (林書豪) scored 20 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 4.9 seconds remaining, as the New York Knicks defeated Minnesota 100-98 for their fifth victory in a row.
Lin, the first US-born NBA player of Taiwanese heritage, has captured attention worldwide after coming off the Knicks bench and helping New York to triumphs while stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire were absent.
Lin added a game-high eight assists and six rebounds for the Knicks, who rallied from an 11-point deficit to defeat the Timberwolves on Saturday.
Iman Shumpert added 20 points for New York while Landry Fields contributed 19.
Anthony has been sidelined with a groin strain, while Stoudemire is out because of a death in the family.
Lin scored a career-high 38 points on Friday to help the Knicks defeat the Lakers, then scored 15 points in the first half against Minnesota before going 1-for-12 in the second half.
New York’s Steve Novak sank a three-pointer off a pass from Lin to tie the game at 98 with 36 seconds remaining.
Lin was fouled on a drive to the basket by Minnesota’s Luke Ridnour with 4.9 seconds remaining and hit the second free throw to give the Knicks the lead.
After a Timberwolves turnover, Bill Walker was fouled and sank a free throw, giving the T-Wolves one last chance. However, Kevin Love, who had 32 points and 21 rebounds, missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Lin was undrafted after playing at Harvard University and cut in December by Golden State and Houston, only to find a place with the Knicks and make the most of his magic moment, becoming the first player since LeBron James to average 20 points and eight assists in his first two NBA starts.
“He’s so good,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s all about the team. His defense is good. His energy is good. His personality rubs off on everybody.”
“You play the game the right way and you play hard, you start to feel something in your heart. When you do that, anything is possible,” he said.