Jeremy Lin Blows Up, but 76ers' Backcourt Too Much for Rockets

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 13, 2013

USA Today

With James Harden sidelined by a sore foot, Jeremy Lin had free rein to control the Houston Rockets offense against the feisty Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night.

In a thrilling 123-117 overtime loss, Lin's signature mix of incredible plays and cringe-inducing decisions was on full display. In other words, Linsanity was back.

But unlike his out-of-nowhere emergence in New York two years ago, the current version of Linsanity featured a deadly jumper.

Yeah, that's going to take some getting used to.

From the outset, Lin was aggressive, drilling a pair of threes in the first four minutes of the game. And while that would have been surprising in the past, jumpers have been a huge part of Lin's arsenal this season.

Coming into the game, he had been knocking down shots from long range at a 45.5 percent clip.

It's safe to say he upped that percentage after nailing a career-high nine triples on 15 attempts.

Lin's game wasn't all about hurting the Sixers from the perimeter, though. He also did a fair amount of facilitating. Some of his unselfishness had spectacular results.

It's tough to criticize Lin for his heroic 49-minute effort, but there was a stretch in the second half when he was helping the Sixers as much as he was the Rockets.

The Harvard alum didn't quite notch a triple-double, finishing with 34 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and eight turnovers.

But Tony Wroten, starting in the Sixers backcourt for an injured Michael Carter-Williams, sure did. Philly's point guard was up to a little Linsanity of his own, posting 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in 41 minutes.

Not to be outdone, former Rocket James Anderson exacted vengeance on his old team, by going off for 36 points on just 16 shots. His contested three sent the game to overtime.

This was a wild one, filled with exactly the kind of frenetic excitement you'd expect from a contest in which Jeremy Lin was the focal point. Unfortunately for the Rockets, Philly's unsung backcourt duo got a little crazy themselves.