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Lin's big day lifts Knicks over Mavs

NEW YORK -- Linsanity lives.

Forget the off night that had NBA fans worldwide wondering if the Jeremy Lin story was too good to be true. It's still plenty good, all right.

The Harvard sensation was back at his whirling ways Sunday, and the stage couldn't have been better -- against the defending champions on national TV.

Lin was Lin, and that was good enough for the New York Knicks to win.

Hours after the opening of "Saturday Night Live" spoofed the Lin phenomenon, the point guard had 28 points and a career-high 14 assists to carry the Knicks to a 104-97 victory that ended the Dallas Mavericks' six-game winning streak.

"Looking back, it's like I was watching them win the championship last year, and that's obviously where this team wants to go," Lin said.

"This is helpful to us, not just to me but to us, just to be able to see where our team can go and what we can become, and I think that's the biggest takeaway from tonight."

Lin already owns the highlights and headlines, and now he has some new admirers after bouncing back from a nine-turnover performance against lowly New Orleans by dominating a Dallas defense that made even LeBron James look ordinary in the NBA Finals.

After the final buzzer, Lin got a hug from a fellow Bay Area product, and someone who knows a thing or two about playing the point -- Mavs star Jason Kidd

"He looks a little bit like Steve Nash out there," Kidd said, referring to the two-time MVP of the Phoenix Suns.

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.

"I think they found something in Lin, and they're starting to piece together a team that can beat anyone," Mavs guard Jason Terry said.

Steve Novak also delivered for the Knicks. He scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter, including four threes. J.R. Smith scored 15 points in his Knicks debut as New York won for the eighth time in nine games.

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Heat keeps streak going

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade hasn't had a shooting streak like this since he was a rookie. The Miami Heat haven't had a winning streak like this all season.

And the team with the NBA's best record insists that better days are ahead.

Wade scored 27 points, LeBron James had 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and the Heat returned from a marathon road trip to beat the Orlando Magic, 90-78, for their sixth consecutive victory, each of them by double digits.

"We want to make sure that we're keeping things in perspective, we're staying humble and understanding that NBA adage -- you're never quite as good as you think you are when you're winning and you're never quite as bad as you think you are when you're losing," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "And we are playing better, more consistent and we have taken another step forward as a basketball team."

With former President Bill Clinton sitting courtside next to Heat managing general partner Micky Arison, Udonis Haslem scored 10 for the Heat, who improved to 25-7, a half-game better than Chicago for the best record in the NBA and the Eastern Conference.

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Pistons blast Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Greg Monroe had 17 points and 10 assists, and Rodney Stuckey added 16 points to lead the surging Detroit Pistons over the Boston Celtics, 96-81.

Detroit has now won seven of its last nine games, including two victories in five days over the Celtics, who were missing Kevin Garnett (personal reasons) and Brandon Bass (left knee). Paul Pierce led Boston with 18 points.

The Pistons scored 40 points off 24 turnovers, while the Celtics got only 13 points off Detroit's 15 giveaways.

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