Jeremy Lin doesn’t know if he'll ever perform as well as he did during his charmed February with the New York Knicks last season.
For now, he’s content to be a key contributor on his new team.
James Harden scored 33 points and Chandler Parsons had a career-high 31 to help the Rockets coast to a 131-103 victory over the Knicks Friday night in Houston. Lin added 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in his first game against his previous team.
The Rockets carried a 12-point lead into the third, and scored 10 straight points later in the quarter to extend their lead to 21.
Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 37 for New York, which has dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.
Lin went undrafted out of Harvard and became a sensation with the Knicks last season with a remarkable stretch in February when he scored at least 20 points in nine of 10 games.
A high point of that span came when he had 38 points and seven assists in a 92-85 victory over the Lakers on Feb. 10.
The Rockets released Lin before he signed with New York. Lin became a Rocket again when the Knicks decided not to match Houston’s three-year, $25 million offer.
‘‘I'm not looking to re-create what happened in New York,’’ said Lin, who has been in a slump lately. ‘‘I want to be a consistent player. I want to get better. I don’t know what my potential is. I don’t know if I can play any better than I did during that stretch, but I'm going to find out to see how close I can get.’’
He said he’s ‘‘at peace’’ with the Knicks not matching Houston’s offer, and he’s glad to be in Houston.
Though Lin and the Rockets got the best of the Knicks in this one, not everything went right for the guard Friday night.
‘‘I lost part of my tooth on the floor,’’ said Lin, who chipped one of his front teeth while scrambling for the ball near the end of the first half.
Parsons scored 26 points in the first half to surpass his previous career high of 25. The second-year player went 8 for 8 to pile up 18 points in the first quarter. He finished 13 of 17 with four 3-pointers.
‘‘Chandler’s just a winner,’’ interim Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. ‘‘Right now he’s just in a groove.’’
Harden, who had nine assists, was a career-best 16 of 16 at the free throw line to help Houston build its big lead.
‘‘They beat us in every way you can beat a team,’’ Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. ‘‘I know throughout the course of the year or the season you have games like this, but it’s not acceptable. We just weren’t ready to play and that’s on me.’’
Houston was up by 10 before going on a 11-0 run, capped by a 3 from Lin, to stretch the lead to 94-73 with about five minutes left in the third quarter. Anthony got a technical and Tyson Chandler received a flagrant foul on a play in which he and Omer Asik were jostling for a rebound in that span.
Grizzlies 106, Lakers 98 — Rudy Gay scored 21 points, Mike Conley added 19, and host Memphis beat Los Angeles to improve to an NBA-best 9-2.
Zach Randolph had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Marc Gasol added 14 points and eight assists.
The Lakers, playing their third road game in four nights, have lost all four road games this season and their second straight with new coach Mike D'Antoni on the bench. Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter.
Nets 86, Clippers 76 — Brook Lopez had 26 points, including consecutive baskets during the decisive stretch, and host Brooklyn shut down Los Angeles in the fourth quarter.
Brooklyn outscored Los Angeles, 23-13, during a final period in which Chris Paul had no points, 2 assists, and 6 fouls.
Joe Johnson added 19 points for the Nets. They limited the Clippers to 29 points in the second half and got back on track after losing the final two games of a six-game trip.
Spurs 104, Pacers 97 — Tony Parker scored 33 points and visiting San Antonio overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat Indiana and improve to 10-3.
Tim Duncan had 22 points for San Antonio, which closed the game with a 17-2 run. Manu Ginobili scored 19 points.
Jazz 104, Kings 102 — Gordon Hayward scored 23 points, including the winning basket with 4.5 seconds left, and Utah rallied past Sacramento in Salt Lake City.
James Johnson’s running jumper at the buzzer bounced harmlessly off the rim as the Jazz stayed perfect at home.
Suns 111, Hornets 108 — Markieff Morris scored a career-high 23 points, including a 3-pointer in overtime, and host Phoenix rallied from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to hand New Orleans its sixth straight loss.
Nuggets 102, Warriors 91 — Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 29 points — 20 in the second half — and Ty Lawson had 18 points and nine assists as host Denver bested Golden State.Continued...