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Lin explodes, Spurs dumped

Charlotte's late rally ends San Antonio's win-streak



It was another episode of Linsanity, and this time it was more surreal than ever.

Jeremy Lin rescued the Charlotte Hornets on a night when they started miserably, and then rallied from a 23-point deficit to stun the San Antonio Spurs 91-88 yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Lin scored 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting with four three-pointers, and he came up biggest with the game on the line.

His fall-away jumper with 48.4 seconds remaining gave the Hornets the lead for good at 89-88, and then he tacked on two free throws with 18.3 left to push the lead to three.

"He's a very committed player," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said.

"He comes in and he works so hard. You're going to get his best effort every night. He obviously came in and picked our energy up tonight, in both halves. He was the catalyst."

The Hornets (40-30) bounced back from a bitter home loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday and won for the 10th time in their past 12 games.

"We just turned it up," Lin said. "I can't even think, man. We just played hard. I'm just thankful to God. I've been struggling so much and we lost one the other night that we felt we shouldn't have lost, so to come out here and get this win is a huge boost for us."

The Spurs (59-11) had a six-game winning streak snapped. They had won 14 of their previous 15 and 20 of their previous 22.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich felt the game slipped away in the second quarter, when his team had an opportunity to turn the outcome into a rout.

"In the second quarter, I thought our second team were basically out to lunch," Popovich said.

"They stopped moving the ball. It was one-on-one, turnovers, gave up 29 points in the quarter. That sealed the fate right there. Charlotte recovered. They did a good job of hanging in and playing hard and continued to do that."

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 19 points. LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Tim Duncan finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard scored 15.

The San Antonio bench provided just 18 points, though, and combined to shoot 5-for-22 from the field.

"They just played better in the second half," Aldridge said. "They picked up their intensity and they ended up making more plays down the stretch than we did. We got some good looks down the stretch, but guys just didn't make shots."

- Reuters.


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