Jeremy Lin led the Houston Rockets to defeat the New York Knicks, his former team, at the Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
The American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent that went from benchwarmer to the biggest story in basketball had 22 points and eight assists, leading the Rockets to a 109-96 victory that ended Knicks’ 10-game home winning streak to open the season.
“It was a lot of fun playing out there and I think our team, we took a step in the right direction,” Lin said. “And for me, it was great to be back and it was a lot of fun to play on that court again.”
Lin saw some fans wearing his old jersey, but said he didn’t let his mind drift back to last season during the game.
“I’ve moved on, they’ve moved on,” he said. “We have good memories, but at the same time we’re all in a different place now.”
Although Knicks were waiting for him – unbeaten in the Garden, best record in the Eastern Conference, celebrating themselves as championship contenders – and Lin and James Harden dismantled them.
“I’m glad this is over,” Lin told Yahoo! Sports late Monday night. “This is a little bit of closure.”
Knicks center Tyson Chandler drilled Lin on the baseline drive, a blow to the head that inspired flagrant foul call. Lin popped up, a smile awash on his face.
“He hit me hard,” Lin said. “I still kept coming through.”
Lin’s story of perseverance has inspired many American-born Chinese and youths in Asia to not give up. Earlier this year, Lin led a evangelism conference in Taipei, Taiwan, and over 10,000 listened and millions tuned in to the live broadcast to all over the world. In his testimonies, Lin said that his audience is God and it is God who he is playing for.