Nets guard scores 38 against Knicks in a game he circled on his calendar for two weeks
NEW YORK — Deron Williams takes full responsibility for Linsanity.
“This all started on me,” the New Jersey Nets star said.
He was ready Monday night when he got another shot at the kid from Harvard.
Williams scored a season-high 38 points, outplaying Jeremy Lin and leading the Nets to a 100-92 victory over the New York Knicks in a game the All-Star guard said was circled on his calendar.
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Lin began his remarkable run against New Jersey, but Williams and the Nets were geared up this time for him and Carmelo Anthony, who returned to the Knicks lineup after missing seven games with a strained right groin.
“I don’t really watch too many games, but I do see Twitter, people tweet me and every, you know, three lines it was ‘Jeremy Lin destroyed Deron Williams,’ ” Williams said. “So I definitely took offense to that in the first game and definitely, like I said, I had it circled.”
Lin finished with 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Lin shot only 7 of 18 and the Knicks lost for the second time in 10 games.
“I think me in particular didn’t come with the defensive energy we needed. Obviously, Deron Williams going for 30-whatever he had is not going to get it done,” Lin said. “So I needed to come out with more energy, the team needed to come out with more energy and I think at the end of the day, I think that’s why the team lost.”
Williams scored 18 in the third quarter, including 12 consecutive Nets points.
“I don’t think Deron Williams needs much of a prod,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “That’s one of the best guards in the league. Jeremy still got 21 and nine. He had a great game, good game. Deron had a great game and that’ll be that way sometimes.”
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• Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, Kevin Martin added 22 and Courtney Lee hit four key free throws down the stretch as Houston, at home, held off Memphis 97-93.
• Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and moved into the top 20 on the NBA career scoring list as Dallas, at home, beat short-handed and struggling Boston 89-73. Nowitzki also had a season-high 16 rebounds. Already without suspended Rajon Rondo, absent Kevin Garnett and injured Brandon Bass, the Celtics lost starters Jermaine O’Neal (sprained left wrist) and Chris Wilcox (right adductor strain) in the third quarter.
• Dwight Howard had 28 points and 16 rebounds, Jameer Nelson added 15 points and visiting Orlando beat Milwaukee 93-90.
• Kobe Bryant scored 28 points, Andrew Bynum had 14 points and 19 rebounds, and Los Angeles roared to a 30-point lead early in the second quarter before holding on for a 103-92 home victory over Portland.
• Arron Afflalo hit a tiebreaking floater in the lane with 33.7 seconds left in overtime and reserve Al Harrington scored a season-high 31 points as Denver beat Minnesota 103-101 at home.
• Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored 31 points apiece and Oklahoma City beat New Orleans 101-93 for its 10th consecutive home victory.
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• Mitch Kupchak, the general manager, says he must explore every opportunity to improve the Lakers, even if Kobe Bryant doesn’t like it. Kupchak issued a statement in response to Bryant’s criticism of the club brass over the haze of uncertainty surrounding Pau Gasol. The 7-foot Spanish star is having the lowest-scoring season of his career amid rampant speculation about his departure in a trade ever since the Lakers attempted to move him for Chris Paul before the season.
• Spurs guard Manu Ginobili is expected to miss two weeks with a strained left oblique. Ginobili had an MRI that confirmed the injury.