NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin was a star at Harvard.
He just hasn’t been able to replicate that success at TD Garden. Lin struggled against the Celtics, who ruined his return to Boston with a 115-111 overtime victory Sunday.
“The thing about Jeremy is he’s going to make some mistakes,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s got a learning curve. There’s no way you can throw him in there the first time he’s ever done it and expect him to be perfect. He’s going to be good. It’s just a matter of going through some learning experiences.”
Boston’s Rajon Rondo, on the other hand, had his second triple-double in three games, finishing with 18 points, 20 assists and a career-high 17 rebounds. He played a part in every Celtics point in overtime, collecting five points, five rebounds and two assists in the extra period.
It was Rondo’s fourth triple-double this season and the 17th of his career.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to record a triple-double with at least 17 in each category was Magic Johnson, who had 24 points, 17 assists and 17 rebounds on April 18, 1989. The last player to exceed Rondo’s performance in each category was Wilt Chamberlain, who had 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists on Feb. 2, 1968.
“He’s one of the best in the league,” said Lin. “You saw his stat line tonight. There aren’t many guards, maybe no guard, who can put up something like that. We didn’t do a good job of containing him and he obviously controlled the tempo of the game.”
Lin picked up two fouls in the first three minutes and struggled to 14 points in 32 minutes. He had five assists, four rebounds and six turnovers while shooting 6 for 16 from the floor.
Carmelo Anthony scored 25 for the Knicks, six of them in the final 100 seconds of regulation as they twice took the lead. Amar’e Stoudemire had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Tyson Chandler grabbed 14 boards, but New York still fell a game below .500 and 1½ games behind Boston in the Eastern Conference.
“I didn’t have a great one today,” Lin said. “I didn’t have a great one here last time. Maybe it’s the arena. I don’t know.”
Lin’s last trip to play the Celtics, on Feb. 3, he scored just two points in under seven minutes. The next night, he came off the bench to score 25 points against the New Jersey Nets. He has been in the starting lineup ever since, sparking a seven-game winning streak that rejuvenated the Knicks.
The phenomenon has been felt back in Cambridge, too.
Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust met with Lin before the game, and Crimson coach Tommy Amaker was also at the game one day after the Crimson beat Cornell to clinch at least a share of the Ivy League title.
The rest of the crowd greeted Lin rudely in the first quarter, but two fouls in the first three minutes seemed to eliminate the chance that it would be another big game.
“Obviously, Boston is a great defensive team,” Lin said. “I was a little more comfortable but still not to where I want to get to.”
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