It was a learning experience for Lin, anonymous last month but a marked man in the league now.
Knicks ratings have surged — Sunday's victory earned ABC's third-highest overnight rating ever for a non-Christmas broadcast — and celebrities are packing Madison Square Garden again. New parents Jay-Z, a part-owner of the Nets, and Beyonce were in the crowd for this one.
Lin graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and was the subject of a sketch on "Saturday Night Live" and there's no telling how far his celebrity will rise. The online sports book bovada.lv even is giving 5 to 1 odds he'll go on a date before the NBA finals are over with Kim Kardashian, split from Nets forward Kris Humphries.
Humphries, booed as usual since their brief marriage, had 14 points and 14 rebounds, and drew technicals on the Knicks when Anthony tried to trip him and when Tyson Chandler followed him to the bench jawing during a timeout.
The only question left for Lin was what he would do with Anthony, who was hurt 6 minutes into Lin's starting debut two nights after that Nets game. Both players scoffed at the idea that Anthony would mess it up, and Anthony has even said he went to D'Antoni and told him to give Lin more minutes — though the coach had no recollection of it.
Anthony's first basket came off a connection with Lin, setting a pick and popping out for a jumper. But the Knicks' offense went stagnant in the second quarter, and Williams took over the game in the third.
Notes: Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert sat out with a left knee injury and will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break. ... Nets C Brook Lopez, who just returned Sunday after breaking his foot in the preseason, sat out as part of the plan to not play him yet on back-to-back nights. ... The Knicks honored former coach Joe Lapchick, and players Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton and John Rucker as part of their "Pioneer Night: A Celebration In Black History." Clifton was the first African-American to play for the Knicks, though Rucker preceded him by two weeks in training camp in 1950, becoming the first African-American to wear the team's uniform.
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