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Rockets win preseason opener as Lin debuts

TAIPEI -- NBA star Jeremy Lin made his debut in his second stint with the Houston Rockets Wednesday in a game that gave the team a 107-105 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first of the preseason games.

According to reports post by the Houston Rockets on its official site and blog, Lin was on court for nearly 20 minutes, finishing with three points on 1-of-3 shooting, six assists and three steals, but also three turnovers.

Terrence Jones scored 20 points to lead the Rockets' victory, while Thunder — the Western Conference champion last season — played without center Kendrick Perkins, forward Serge Ibaka and guard Thabo Sefolosha, all of whom were sidelined due to injures.

“I thought Jeremy had a good stint. I thought he had a couple times where he probably should have shot it and tried passing it instead trying to be unselfish. But I thought Jeremy was pretty solid overall,” Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said.

The Rockets will next face the New Orleans Hornets Saturday Taiwan time.

Lin said before the preseason opener that he would not be playing for long periods because of the knee injury he sustained in April.

The 24-year-old point guard has been training with his new teammates to develop tactical awareness since earlay October after returning from visits to Taiwan and China.

“My speed and my explosiveness and my agility (are not) there yet,” he said.

“I'm still trying to recover from knee surgery and get to where I was pre-surgery. I probably won't get to play too much. Hopefully, as the preseason goes on, I'll get to play more and more to build that endurance,” he said.

Lin signed a three-year, US$25.1 million contract with the Rockets in July after his old team the New York Knicks decided not to match the offer.

Lin was with Houston last December before being waived.

The Knicks claimed him off waivers Dec. 27, and it was in New York that the Linsanity phenomenon was born with Lin leading the moribund Knicks on a seven-game winning streak in February.

Lin, the first NBA player of Taiwanese descent, averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game in 35 games (25 starts) last season.

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The Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin, left, drives around the baseline against Oklahoma City Thunder defender Cole Aldrich during the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game ...

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