Jeremy Lin stole the show Friday night with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal as the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 123-99 to consolidate their No 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
With a plus/minus score of +25, Lin was by far the most efficient Hornet of the night. Simply put, Lin was ON tonight on both ends of the floor. He couldn’t put a foot wrong.
The Charlotte Hornets were trailing 11-24 when Lin first checked into the game with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter. There was that look in Lin’s eye tonight, he wanted to take over the game.
And he sure did. Over the next 16 minutes, Lin would put on a show with 15 points, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal and 1 rebound as the Hornets went on a 48-20 run to finish the first half strongly with a lead of 59-54. It was Lin’s aggressive play, especially his hustle on defense, that brought Hornets back into the game.
“I knew that we had depth on this team. I feel like we’ve been able to be a spark at times,” an elated Lin said after the game. “I think we have a high ceiling because we just started playing together. Someone like Frank (Kaminsky, the rookie) who is just learning things. Me and J. Lamb learning to be on the same page. And Spencer (Hawes) has been a big key in terms of us adjusting to each other.”
“Right now we seem to be allowing each player to do what he does best,” added Lin.
Kemba Walker had a game-high 33 points while Nicolas Batum added 20 as the Hornets continued to look like a top-5 team in the league with their off-the-charts efficiency on defense. Rookie Frank Kaminsky finished with 15 points while Jeremy Lamb added 10 points as the Hornets thrived courtesy of their bench, led by Lin’s all-round hustle on both ends. Hornets’ bench outscored Grizzlies’ 59-37.
Jeremy Lin Enters The Grindhouse
Some of Lin’s defensive plays were very fitting since the Hornets were playing in the Grindhouse – the arena which has seen Memphis Grizzlies stifle oppositions with their defense over the years. Lin drew plenty of fouls from the likes of Russ Smith, Jeff Green and Tony Allen. Lin’s intensity on defense was something we’ve seen all season long. But tonight, he was on another level.
Jeremy Lin ended the first quarter by stripping a loose pass from Matt Barnes. Within the first 30 seconds of the second quarter, Lin made another super defensive play when he blocked Ross Smith’s 6-foot-shot. After setting up Jeremy Lamb for a 17-footer, Lin continued to run wild with a driving layup followed by a few made free throws. With 4:05 left, Lin sunk a 25-foot three point shot before blocking Tony Allen’s 13-foot jumper.
Shockingly, Jeremy Lin was demoted back to the bench at the start of the second half. Lin checked back into the game with 2:23 left in the third quarter. Lin wasn’t need to make much of an impact in the second half since the match was pretty much secured by the visiting team.
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— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) December 12, 2015
Lin interviewed after game. He think he has made strides defensively thanks to Cliff and Silas hoping to keep learning from them.
— JeremyLinForum (@jlinforum) December 12, 2015