NEW YORK _ This was supposed to be the game where Jeremy Lin met his match.
This was supposed to be the game where the kid who has taken the NBA by storm get put in-check by the defensive-minded defending world champions from Dallas.
Final score: New York Knicks 104, Dallas Mavericks 97.
Speaking indivdually: Lin became the first player in league history to have 28 points, 14 assists and five steals against the defending NBA champions. In short, Lin has arrived, as a national TV audience noticed when he shredded the Mavs on Sunday.
And Sunday's game at Madison Square Garden -- when Lin did most of his torching against one of the game's best defenders in Shawn Marion -- really should put to rest any notion on whether or not Lin can keep this wonderful train ride going. But whether Lin can lead the Knicks to an NBA championship is another story.
"Looking back, last year I was watching Dallas win the championship,'' Lin said. "Obviously you can't win championships without being a good defensive team.
"We came out, we moved the ball and we had a lot of people congtribute. Across the board, the efficiency was there from everybody.''
Lin noticed that the Mavs doubled him often, trying to take the ball out of his hands, which would make him less effective. He found his way around that, too.
"Obviously with the double team I was just trying to get rid of it, or back it up and wait for the double team to go away, then I would attack Marion,'' Lin said. "With the double team, I hadn't seen that and it caught me off-guard a little bit.''
All in all, the win over the Mavs gave the Knicks an array of hope.
"This,'' Lin said, "is helpful to us to see where our team can go and what we can become.''
-- Dwain Price
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