By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
On Saturday night in Houston, the Nets’ Deron Williams squared off with Houston’s Jeremy Lin, one of the best, if not most-hyped, point guards in the NBA.
This matchup came a little less than a year after Lin had a tremendouns performance against Williams to start Linsanity.
On February 4, 2012, the then-New Jersey Nets played the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, and the Knicks turned to Lin to anchor the point guard position.
Lin scored 25 points that night in the Knicks win, and he proceeded to have one of the best months anybody ever had, as he lit the world on fire in the Linsanity frenzy.
He then was sidelined due to injury, and that focred the Knicks to lose some games in March, leading to coach Mike D’Antoni being dismissed. Mike Woodson took over, Lin returned and the Knicks surged to the finish. They faced Miami in the playoffs and Lin was hobbled by leg injuries, so he missed the series, which Miami won in five games.
There was some squabbling between him and the Knicks over his contract in the offseason, so he went to the Houston Rockets.
This season started slowly for Lin, as he had to get adjusted to being a young star adjusting to a new team. He had turned it on lately, and is averaging 12 points and six assists a game.
In this one, Williams came out strong, as he scored 20 points in the first quarter, and the Nets led 29-28 at the end of the opening frame.
In the second quarter, things took a turn for the worse for Brooklyn, as the Rockets went on a run. In the first five minutes, they outscored the Nets 18-4, and established themselves in the paint, with Omer Asik had six points, and Chandler Parsons had four in the run.
The Rockets outscored the Nets 34-20 in the second quarter, and led 62-49 at halftime. This was the second straight night that the Nets gave up over 60 points in the first half.
The Nets got close in the fourth quarter, as Mirza Teletovic had six points, Keith Bogans had a three-pointer, and a Brook Lopez jumper got them within eight at 101-93 with 8:26 left.
This was where Lin took over, as he set up Asik and Parsons for baskets to make it 105-93, and ran around Nets defenders the rest of the night. Houston led by 12 or more for the rest of the game, and won 119-106.
There were some fireworks with around a minute left as Williams was tossed by referee David Jones. Williams was fouled by Carlos Delfino, and as he stood at the free-throw line, said something to Jones, and was tossed on the spot.
James Harden was huge down the stretch, scoring nine points in the final five minutes. He had 29 points overall on 7-for-15 from the field and 13-14 from the free-throw line.
Lin had 14 points (5-for-14 FG) with 9 assists. 5 rebounds, and his one blemish was 6 turnovers.
Williams finished with 27 after the huge 20-point first quarter, on 10-for-15 shooting and 11 assists. Brook Lopez had 21 points, and Joe Johnson was shut down for the second straight night, held to 13 points on 5-for-14 from the field.
The Nets return home for the Orlando Magic on Monday, and then three premier opponents come to Barclays Center: the Miami Heat on Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls on Friday, and the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, February 5th.