Heading into last night’s fiasco, we all knew what we were in for.
A kid who has seen more hype than anyone in the NBA since the Yao Ming days, and a sell-out crowd at the ACC – a big chunk of whom had come to cheer on Lin’s Knicks rather than Toronto’s Raptors.
We all knew it was going to be a Linsane atmosphere – but no one envisioned a finish such as this.
The game certainly started in Toronto’s favor. Lin struggled, as did the Knicks. And Jose Calderon was winning the point-guard battle – and was seemingly unphased by the hype this Lin kid was receiving.
That was the case for most of this game, and the Raptors were even up by nine with just four minutes to go in the fourth.
But the tides slowly turned.
Lin emerged from his three-quarter slumber, and scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter.
With just over a minute to go, Lin drove straight at Amir Johnson, got fouled, hung in the air, and completed a three-point play to tie the game at 87.
And with the shot clock turned off, Lin hit the game-winning three pointer over Jose Calderon with just .5 seconds left.
“You just watch and you’re in awe,” D’Antoni said. “He held it until five-tenths of a second left. He was pretty confident that was going in, no rebounds, no nothing. That ball was being buried.”
“When he hit that shot it was simply amazing, we were hugging at midcourt like we’d won a championship,” said Amare Stoudemire.
Raptor fans should be upset with a couple things, such as:
- Seeing their team drop two in a row at home in the clutch; and
- Seeing half their stadium cheering as if it was the Raptors who had won the game.
Despite all this, Raptor fans have to admire Lin due to his sheer humbleness.
“It’s not because of me, it’s because we’re coming together as a team,” Lin said. “We started making these steps earlier but we were still losing close games and so obviously it wasn’t fun. But when you win, that solves a lot of problems. We’ve been winning and we’ve been playing together.
For the Raptors, they still have the huge issue of not being able to play consistent basketball for the entire four quarters. And while the issue last month was that they couldn’t get it going until the 2nd half; it’s been the opposite in the past couple games where the Raptors start off hot but cool down in the fourth.
In last night’s 90-87 loss to the Knicks, the Raptors led by as many as 17 points in the 2nd quarter.
“We had so many bonehead plays,” said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. ”Right now we are putting together a hell of a three quarters, but for some reason we can’t get to that fourth quarter,”
Game Pictures (Via The Star)
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