New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin, right, takes a shot over Dallas Mavericks defense during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Jeremy Lin had 28 points and a career-high 14 assists, Steve Novak made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and the New York Knicks ended the Mavericks' six-game winning streak with a 104-97 victory Sunday.
In a game of wild momentum swings, the Knicks reeled off 17 straight points in the first quarter, fell behind by 12 in the third, then pulled it out to beat the Mavericks for only the third time in the last 20 meetings.
Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 34 points for the Mavericks, who had been playing championship-level defense but became the latest team who couldn't stop Lin.
Long before Linsanity, Lin actually started his NBA career with the Mavs' summer league team in 2010. But owner Mark Cuban said Lin preferred to play closer to home, and he signed with the Warriors, who cut him, as did Houston, in December before the Knicks picked him up off waivers.
"It wasn't luck because there were how many other teams that could have signed Jeremy and the Knicks were the ones who went out and got him," Cuban said. "So they saw something and they were smart enough to go out and get him."
"Saturday Night Live" opened with a spoof of Linsanity and Sunday's crowd included Kevin Costner, Eva Longoria, Spike Lee -- wearing Lin's No. 4 Harvard jersey -- and another famous Harvard product, Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg. Lin's high school coach from Palo Alto (Calif.) High School also made the trip.
Nowitzki had 11 points, including a four-point play, during an 18-7 surge out of halftime, and the Mavs would go up by 12 when his free throws made it 70-58 with 4:17 left in the third quarter. The Knicks closed the period with a 14-5 burst behind eight points from Lin, whose steal and dunk with 12.5 seconds left narrowed it to 75-72.