Lin and Knicks scorched by Nets

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose drives past Atlanta Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich during the fourth quarter of the Bulls' win.
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose drives past Atlanta Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich during the fourth quarter of the Bulls' win. (BRIAN KERSEY / Associated Press)
Posted: February 21, 2012

All-star Deron Williams scored a season-high 38 points, outplaying Jeremy Lin and leading the New Jersey Nets to a 100-92 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night at the Garden.

Lin began his remarkable run against the Nets about two weeks ago, but Williams and the Nets were ready for him this time.

Lin finished with 21 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds, but Williams outscored him by 36-11 through three quarters, when the Nets led by 18. Lin shot only 7 of 18.

Carmelo Anthony, clearly rusty in his return from a seven-game absence with a strained right groin, shot 4 of 11 and scored 11 points.

Elsewhere: Former Villanova star Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, Kevin Martin added 22, and Courtney Lee hit four key free throws down the stretch as the Houston Rockets held off the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, 97-93. . . . Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and moved into the top 20 on the NBA career scoring list as the Mavericks beat the shorthanded and struggling Boston Celtics, 89-73, in Dallas. Nowitzki who also had a season-high 16 rebounds.

More Lin fallout for ESPN

After firing an editor Sunday for using a word that can be used as a racial slur in a headline about New York Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin, ESPN also suspended anchor Max Bretos for 30 days because it turned out he had used the same expression on the air last week.

The editor, Anthony Federico, said that the slur never crossed his mind - and that he was devastated when he realized his mistake. "This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny," he told the New York Daily News.

A gracious Lin gave Federico and Bretos the benefit of the doubt. "They've apologized, and so from my end, I don't care anymore," he said. "You have to learn to forgive, and I don't even think that was intentional."

More Lakers bickering

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak issued a statement in response to Kobe Bryant's criticism of the club brass over the uncertainty over Pau Gasol.

After Sunday night's loss at Phoenix, Bryant said he wanted Kupchak to decide whether Gasol would be traded or not. Kupchak responded with a terse one-paragraph statement before Monday's game against Portland.

"As general manager of the Lakers, I have a responsibility to ownership, our fans and the players on this team to actively pursue opportunities to improve the team for this season and seasons to come," Kupchak said.

- Inquirer wire services