Jeremy Lin Leads Slaughter of First NBA Team to Cut Him

Jeremy Lin showed emphatically what a big mistake the Golden State Warriors made in cutting him to save $800,000 on their salary cap by leading the Rockets to a 140-109 romp Tuesday night in Houston.

Showing the kind of emotional charge inherent in the matchup, Lin led the Rockets with an explosive yet controlled performance that displayed his scoring prowess with 28 points, his dishing skills with 9 assists and even his ball control with only 2 turnovers in 32 minutes of play. He was so efficient that he left the game halfway through the 4th quarter so coach Kevin McHale could clear the depleted bench.

Lin even refused to take a back seat to James Harden who, with 18 points, scored less than Lin for the first time this season in games in which both players started. But Harden wasn’t exactly idle — he dished seven assists and snatched 3 steals. He led the team in long-range efficiency, shooting 4-for-5 from behind the arc. In fact, the Rockets tied the NBA record for 3-pointers in a single game with 23 at an awe-inspiring 57.5% rate. They also set a new Toyota Center record for the highest-scoring win.

Lin had been struggling with his shooting and ball control during most of the past two months as Harden established himself as the team’s franchise player. This game showed that the pair have the potential to combine into a force that can match any backcourt in the NBA when Lin is given more latitude to general the team instead of being relegated to being a role player for a Harden-centered offense.