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Lin injury halts intriguing story

Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, whose unlikely rise from undrafted Ivy Leaguer to NBA sensation captured the league’s imagination this season, will miss at least six weeks after having left knee surgery.

Associated Press

Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, whose unlikely rise from undrafted Ivy Leaguer to NBA sensation captured the league’s imagination this season, will miss at least six weeks after having left knee surgery.

NEW YORK — Say so long to Linsanity.

Jeremy Lin will miss the rest of the regular season because he needs knee surgery that will sideline him six weeks and could leave the Knicks without their point guard in the playoffs — if they make it that far.

Lin had an MRI exam this week that revealed a small, chronic meniscus tear, and he has elected to have surgery next week in New York.

With the regular season ending April 26, the biggest story in the league this season is probably done unless the Knicks make a deep playoff run.

Speaking slowly during a news conference before New York's home game against Cleveland, Lin was unable to hide his disappointment with the decision that was reached earlier Saturday after a painful workout.

"It (stinks) not being able to be out there with the team," Lin said.

He was barely holding on to a place in the NBA in February. Now, after back-to-back Sports Illustrated covers and popularity around the world, he has to go back to the bench.

"If this was done very early in the year, obviously … I don't know where my career would be. I could be, would be definitely without a job and probably fighting for a summer league spot," Lin said.

The Knicks will continue to turn to Baron Davis in place of Lin, the undrafted Harvard alum who became the starter in February and turned in a series of brilliant performances, kicking off the phenomenon called Linsanity.

Lin, 23, left the Knicks' easy victory over Detroit on March 24 after feeling discomfort, saying he could have returned for the fourth quarter if the game had been close. He took part in Monday's pregame shootaround and at first believed he could deal with the pain. Though the swelling went down, the pain never did. He said he got three or four opinions that all said the same thing, and after testing it again Friday and Saturday, he decided to have the surgery.

In Saturday's game, JR Smith had 20 points and Carmelo Anthony scored 19 as the Knicks shook off the Lin news to beat the Cavaliers 91-75. Already without Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks now lack their second- and third-leading scorers as they try to hold onto a playoff spot.

Cavaliers rookie point guard Kyrie Irving sat out because of a sprained right shoulder.

Coach SAYS HOWARD WAS PUNCHED: Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that star center Dwight Howard was punched in the back by Brendan Haywood during Friday's Orlando-Dallas game, ESPN.com reported. "It's really ridiculous, and I want to get it on film and send it in (to the league office)," Van Gundy told the team's website on Saturday. "Haywood just punched him literally with a closed fist right in the back." Haywood declined to comment to ESPN.

WADE'S NEPHEW SURVIVES SHOOTING: A nephew of Heat guard Dwyane Wade was hospitalized after being one of 13 shooting victims in a Chicago spree, ESPN.com reported. The nephew was not identified and his condition was unconfirmed, but Wade said he was in the hospital and doing well. Wade's nephew was one of six men shot Thursday at a store on the South Side, ESPN reported. Police said the shooters wore hoods and drove off in an SUV.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Kobe Bryant, who missed his first 15 shots, hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to help the host Lakers hold off the Hornets 88-85. Bryant had 11 points on 3 of 21 shooting and missed his first seven 3-pointers before hitting the winner. … Will Bynum's 3-pointer with 15.7 seconds left in regulation forced overtime, and the host Pistons went on to edge the Bobcats 110-107. … Elton Brand scored 13 of his season-high 25 in the fourth quarter to lead the host 76ers to a 95-90 comeback win over the Hawks. Philadelphia trailed 68-62 in the fourth before Brand scored eight during an 11-4 run.

Lakers 88, Hornets 85

NEW ORLEANS (85): Aminu 5-11 0-0 10, Thomas 3-8 0-0 6, Smith 8-17 1-2 17, Jack 7-20 3-3 18, Belinelli 3-12 1-2 8, Johnson 3-7 0-0 6, Henry 4-6 0-2 8, Vasquez 6-11 0-1 12. Totals 39-92 5-10 85.

L.A. LAKERS (88): World Peace 3-5 0-0 8, Gasol 8-14 5-7 21, Bynum 7-10 5-5 19, Sessions 4-8 1-3 10, Bryant 3-21 4-5 11, Blake 3-5 0-0 9, Barnes 3-11 2-2 8, McRoberts 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 32-77 17-22 88.

New Orleans 14 25 28 18— 85

L.A. Lakers 20 23 18 27— 88

3-Point GoalsNew Orleans 2-10 (Jack 1-3, Belinelli 1-4, Aminu 0-1, Smith 0-1, Vasquez 0-1), L.A. Lakers 7-22 (Blake 3-5, World Peace 2-4, Sessions 1-1, Bryant 1-8, Barnes 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsNew Orleans 53 (Smith 10), L.A. Lakers 55 (Gasol 11). AssistsNew Orleans 21 (Jack 10), L.A. Lakers 28 (Sessions 10). Total FoulsNew Orleans 17, L.A. Lakers 11. TechnicalsBlake, L.A. Lakers defensive three second. A18,997 (18,997).

76ers 95, Hawks 90

ATLANTA (90): J.Johnson 7-13 0-0 15, Smith 12-18 9-11 34, Pachulia 2-7 0-0 4, Teague 2-8 4-6 8, Hinrich 4-8 0-0 8, M.Williams 2-8 1-2 6, Green 3-7 1-2 8, I.Johnson 3-5 1-1 7. Totals 35-74 16-22 90.

PHILADELPHIA (95): Iguodala 6-12 3-4 18, Brand 10-12 5-6 25, Hawes 2-7 4-4 8, Holiday 4-11 0-0 9, Turner 6-13 1-2 13, Battie 0-1 0-0 0, Meeks 4-8 2-2 12, L.Williams 3-7 0-1 6, T.Young 2-6 0-0 4, S.Young 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-77 15-19 95.

Atlanta 23 18 25 24— 90

Philadelphia 17 26 19 33— 95

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 4-14 (Smith 1-1, J.Johnson 1-2, Green 1-3, M.Williams 1-4, Teague 0-1, Hinrich 0-3), Philadelphia 6-12 (Iguodala 3-4, Meeks 2-6, Holiday 1-2). Fouled OutSmith. ReboundsAtlanta 44 (Smith 9), Philadelphia 45 (Brand 10). AssistsAtlanta 20 (Hinrich 6), Philadelphia 25 (Holiday 6). Total FoulsAtlanta 19, Philadelphia 16. A19,714 (20,318).

Knicks 91, Cavaliers 75

CLEVELAND (75): Gee 3-8 6-10 12, Jamison 5-15 2-5 13, Thompson 1-2 1-2 3, Sloan 5-10 0-0 10, Parker 4-10 2-2 10, Samuels 3-5 0-0 6, Hudson 2-8 0-0 4, Casspi 1-4 2-2 4, Erden 2-6 4-6 8, Walton 2-4 0-0 5, Harris 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-72 17-27 75.

NEW YORK (91): Fields 2-8 0-0 4, Anthony 7-14 4-8 19, Chandler 3-4 8-11 14, Davis 2-6 0-0 6, Shumpert 3-12 2-2 10, Smith 8-15 1-2 20, Douglas 2-5 1-1 5, Harrellson 1-4 6-8 8, Novak 2-8 0-0 5, Jordan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-76 22-32 91.

Cleveland 17 21 22 15— 75

New York 25 21 20 25— 91

3-Point GoalsCleveland 2-13 (Walton 1-2, Jamison 1-2, Sloan 0-1, Parker 0-1, Casspi 0-2, Hudson 0-5), New York 9-28 (Smith 3-7, Davis 2-4, Shumpert 2-5, Anthony 1-2, Novak 1-6, Harrellson 0-1, Fields 0-1, Douglas 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCleveland 51 (Sloan, Jamison 7), New York 59 (Chandler 12). AssistsCleveland 13 (Sloan 4), New York 14 (Davis 5). Total FoulsCleveland 25, New York 19. TechnicalsAnthony, New York defensive three second. A19,763 (19,763).

Lin injury halts intriguing story 03/31/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 31, 2012 11:48pm]

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