Jeremy Lin exploded off the bench for the Charlotte Hornets, scoring 29 and leading his team to a 91-88 home victory against the formidable San Antonio Spurs. Lin shot a high percentage for the second straight game, and this time head coach Steve Clifford gave Lin the minutes and the shot attempts. Lin played 31 minutes, connecting on 11-of-18 shots including 4-of-4 from three. Lin also grabbed seven boards and committed just one personal foul.
On a night when Charlotte as a team shot just 40% from the field, Lin showed why he may be the key element for a Hornets team that looks increasingly like it can make a deep run in the playoffs. Since the All-Star break Charlotte has the third best record in the NBA, after Golden State and San Antonio. The Spurs looked during parts of the game as if they were content to let Lin beat them with his long range shooting; it’s not a mistake teams are likely to make going forward. Lin had 15 in the 4th quarter as Charlotte erased a 23-point first half deficit. Lin’s shooting percentage has always been key to his success. The more he makes from deep the more opportunities he has to penetrate as defenses challenge the three. Lin’s ability to penetrate ranks with the top guards in the league. In this one Lin — playing some shooting guard — got about equal time as starting point guard Kemba Walker.