The Atlanta Hawks? Three wins in a row, for the first time this season. Jeremy Lin? Crunch minutes playing time with some clutch plays.
The Hawks beat the sliding Detroit Pistons on the road (only their 4th road win of the season) 98-95, with Lin heading into the game for the final 4 minutes, delivering one huge reverse layup to put the team up by 3 and later killing the game from the line.
Lin finished with 10 points in 17 minutes, adding 3 rebounds and 4 assists. He didn’t shoot exceptionally well, 2-for-7 from the field and once again not connecting from three. His two made field goals were acrobatic, but Lin, who continues to find himself thrown into the game in changing intervals, found other ways to contribute.
Besides the layups and the made free throws, we saw Lin (and the Hawks in general) play very good defense – for Atlanta, it might have been their most cohesive defensive performance of the season. Lin, who has had success against Reggie Jackson in the past, looked good once again vs the Pistons guard, frustrating him and also drawing a key charging foul from him with the game on the line.
Vince Carter led the Hawks with 18 points and Alex Len finished with 15 amid another cold shooting night from Trae Young (4-for-14 from the field). Blake Griffin was also going through a bad game, including two missed free throws with the chance to put the Pistons in the lead with seconds to go. Lin grabbed the rebound from the second miss, which sent him to the line and hit 2-for-2.
Again, like in the previous game, nothing too exceptional from Lin, but still enough to help guide the Hawks to victory, especially with his decision making in execution in the closing minutes. It’s not going to happen every game – Lloyd Pierce isn’t going to pull Young in the final minutes every time, but things do look better in close situations with Lin handling the point.
Jeremy Lin averages through 28 games: 10.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists while shooting 50% from the field, 36.8% from three and 83% from the line in 18.4 minutes per game.