Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sports

Buzz on the Hornets? Linsanity 2

Perhaps this is the start of Linsanity II.

Hornets guard Jeremy Lin is heating up and surging Charlotte is blazing a trail to its second playoff appearance in three seasons under coach Steve Clifford.

Lin scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter Monday to lead the Hornets back from a 23-point deficit to beat San Antonio — the largest lead surrendered by the Spurs in the Tim Duncan era. Lin followed that with another strong performance Tuesday, scoring 21 in a win over Brooklyn.

Michael Jordan's Hornets (41-30) now find themselves in a three-way tie for the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. Lin is a major reason why. Acquired in the offseason via free agency, he is averaging 11.8 points and 2.9 assists per game in a reserve role.

Ordinary numbers compared to his history, but he's stepped up his play the past two games. Lin is scoring in a variety of ways — long jumpers, drives to basket and on fast breaks.

"He's been phenomenal," Hornets point guard Kemba Walker said.

Lin said the win over the Spurs was a confidence builder for him.

"I think being comfortable and not thinking as much on the court and letting the ball fly and having fun," Lin said of the difference in his game."

Lin is no stranger to carrying a team. He did so in 2012, when as an unheralded player out of Harvard he took Madison Square Garden by storm with a series of outstanding games for the Knicks. He became an international sensation.

The media attention isn't what it was in New York, but three teams later Lin appears to have found a home in Charlotte where he says: "I love playing with this group of guys."

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