GREENBURGH -- Jeremy Lin has flawlessly handled Linsanity. Handling the ball has been tougher.
The Knicks' point guard has been turnover prone, and it finally caught up to New York on Friday in an 89-85 loss to New Orleans.
It was the Knicks' first loss since Lin became the starter and an international sensation. All the hype, and seven straight wins, had prevented much attention on his mistakes. But when he coughed the ball up nine times Friday, tied for the most in the NBA this season, Lin put the blame on himself and perhaps gave the team reason for worry.
Not so, coach Mike D'Antoni said Saturday, insisting that Lin's turnovers are "not even a concern" and that the ex-Harvard guard will be a quick study.
"I just want him to keep his mentality to not get hesitant, 'Oh, I might turn it over,'" D'Antoni said. "That's OK. Risk it."
Taking those risks led to some of Friday's miscues. D'Antoni said Lin occasionally went for the "home run play," rather than take a simpler option that may have been available, things they looked at on film Saturday.
"I mean he's a level-headed kid. He's not going to get down. He'll take the blame, that's what Steve Nash did all the time, 'my fault,' but he knows the next game is brand new," D'Antoni said. "He's playing better than he said he played.
"Twenty-eight (actually 26) points and five assists, you might say, 'Oh, that's not Linsanity,' but for any NBA player that's pretty good. Just too many turnovers."
Around the rim
*Tony Parker scored 30 points and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Los Angeles Clippers, 103-100.
*Kris Humphries had 24 points and 18 rebounds, and the New Jersey Nets beat the Chicago Bulls, 97-85.