Jeremy Lin, Hornets erase 23-point deficit to beat Spurs
Charlotte trailed 28-7 after opening quarter
Eleven seconds into the second quarter, Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford called a timeout with his team trailing the San Antonio Spurs 30-7.
"I told them please try harder," Clifford said after the game with a laugh. "I'm begging you. I know y'all make more money than me. I know most of you could get me fired. I'm just saying, please."
Jeremy Lin answered that plea, scoring 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to help Charlotte rally for a 91-88 victory on Monday night, snapping the Spurs' six-game winning streak and denying them their 60th win of the season.
While perhaps not quite "Linsanity II," the 23-point lead was the largest surrendered by the Spurs in the Tim Duncan era, which began in 1997, according to information provided to the Hornets by Elias.
Lin was 11 of 18 from the field and hit all four 3-point attempts, including three in the fourth quarter, and provided the go-ahead jumper with 48 seconds left.
"He was spectacular," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "We couldn't stop him all night. He had a great night. He was wonderful."
His teammates were understandably pleased with his performance.
Charlotte became the first team to score seven points or fewer in the opening quarter and come back to win since the Utah Jazz against the New Jersey Nets on Dec. 12, 2008.
"We just turned it up," Lin said. "We just played hard. I'm so thankful to God because I've been struggling so much. We lost one the other night we felt like we shouldn't have lost. So to come out here and get this win is a huge boost for us."
Even rapper Nelly couldn't hold back his sideline celebration.
With files from CBC Sports