Jeremy Lin, the Charlotte Hornets guard, was seemingly on his way to a match-winning performance against the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night. Unfortunately for Hornets fans, the guard endured a fourth quarter slump and was eventually benched by coach Steve Clifford.
With a solid tally of 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, all while shooting 6/9 from the field, Lin stepped up his game against Suns before a meltdown in the final quarter of play. |Box Score|
In what was a forgettable fourth quarter, Lin stepped out of bounds early and turned the ball over before Brandon Knight made a clutch three to give the Suns a 93-85 lead. With 8:27 left, Lin had the ball stripped by PJ Tucker before Devin Booker’s three gave the Suns a 99-91 lead.
Jeremy Lin off to hot start
With Nicolas Batum sidelined due to a toe injury, Lin got his third consecutive start on Wednesday night. Lin got off to a hot start with a bunch of trademark cuts, drives and layups, literally carrying the Hornets offense, especially with Kemba Walker playing with a troublesome ankle. Lin scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter alone. (Watch below)
Despite battling injury woes, the Hornets reduced the deficit to 86-85 at the start of the fourth quarter. The stage was set for Lin to take over and end the four-game losing streak.
This season, Lin has been the go-to man for Charlotte Hornets during crunch time. Lin has been on the floor for most of the fourth quarters all throughout the season. However, coach Clifford ran out of patience on Wednesday after Lin coughed up five turnovers – two of them in the final quarter.
With 54 seconds, and the Hornets trailing 109-102, Lin made a brief return before being subbed out again in favor of PJ Hairston. With the defeat, Hornets lost their fifth consecutive game. For the Suns, rookie Devin Booker had his coming out party with a career-best 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Jeremy Lin finished the game with an unusual five turnovers. It’s time for the Hornets to go back to the drawing board and end their losing slump. “We are short-handed but we’ve got guys that are capable of playing big games as well. We do have to get better. We’re in a tough stretch. We just have to be better,” Walker said after the defeat.