Jeremy Lin Launches Rockets Over Thunder in Last 3 Minutes

Jeremy Lin helped extend the Rockets’ home win streak to five games Wednesday night by scoring 9 points in the final three minutes in a tough matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the No. 2 team in the Western Conference.

Lin scored 29 points, dished 8 assists, grabbed 6 rebounds and snatched 2 steals in 42 minutes of play, the most play he’s seen this season except in the losses to the Hornets on January 9 and the Spurs on December 12. What the Toyota Center crowd most appreciated was Lin’s contribution during the final 3 minutes as the Rockets closed the 10-point gap Oklahoma had opened up with 6 minutes left.

Lin reentered the game with six and a half minutes left and the Rockets down by 1 point. During his first minute back he missed a 3-point attempt, dished his 8th assist, then missed a reverse layup attempt. Then, with just 3 minutes left on the game clock and Houston down 110-111, Lin made a running jump shot on an assist from Chandler Parsons to give the Rockets the lead for the first time since midway through the second quarter.

With 1:46 left and the score tied at 111 Lin hit a 3-pointer, then followed up with another a minute later to put the Rockets ahead 119-113. Lin scored his final point on a free throw with 25 seconds left in the game to put the Rockets ahead 120-116. The Thunder added three more points and the Rockets two more for a final score of 122-119.

Lin was 12 of 22 from the field and 3 of 5 from 3-point range for one of his best shooting games of the season. James Harden handily kept his place as the team’s scoring leader, however, going 7 of 8 on 3-pointers and 14 of 19 from the field for his season-high 46 points. The Rockets have improved to 30-26 and retains the final playoff spot, 1.5 games back of Utah and a comfortable 4 games ahead of Portland and the Lakers.