Lin: 'I was the point guard. I wasn't just A point guard'
Even without their two leading scorers, the Rockets and Jeremy Lin still had a lot of flow in their Monday night win over the Magic.
In three quarters of action, Lin had 19 points and a season-high tying 11 assists. The Rockets won 111-103. Both Lin and Omer Asik (22 points, 18 rebounds) did not need the fourth quarter to finish with double doubles. The Rockets played with the frenetic pace that they've been known to favor this season, running up and down the floor and running the Magic ragged in the opening three quarters to take a commanding lead.
"Tonight, I was the point guard," Lin said. "I wasn't just a point guard on the team. I was kind of the point guard. It was nice, but we're a much more dangerous team with James (Harden) and the fact of the matter is, we've got to be able to do what we both are really good at together and at the same time. For each other, also. It's not that we don't want it. We're just trying to figure it out, at times.
"The ball just zipped across back and forth," Lin said. "Omer and Greg (Smith) have been beasts down low. They stepped it up. We're a better team with James (Harden) and Chandler (Parsons). So we're going to need them, especially coming down the stretch, but guys have really picked it up in their absence."
But even without those two guys, the Rockets' offense still flowed like a fine wine. At least until the fourth quarter, when the Magic nearly forced Kevin McHale's hand to bring Lin and Asik back in.
"I don't know, I seem to be allergic to fourth quarters these days," Lin joked. "I wasn't sure what to expect, so I don't really know. They told us to stay warm and stay ready, but good thing we didn't really need to go back in. I mean, it was pretty close. It was kind of tense, but we pulled it out and that's all that matters. A win is a win."