With "Beardsanity" relegated to the bench where James Harden was resting a sore ankle, Jeremy Lin launched "Linsanity" like a rocket with the same explosive individual results he so famously ignited in New York.
Jeremy Lin's stat line against the San Antonio Spurs was decidedly linsane: 38 points (tying a career high) on 11-for-21 from the floor and a perfect 12-for-12 from the line. He added seven assists and two steals.
Lin pulled out the complete repertoire of long-distance bombs and silky smooth floaters that he made look so effortless during his improbable breakout run with the Knicks last season.
Nothing has seemed to come easy for Lin this year with the Rockets, especially three-point shooting. But against the Spurs, Lin drained four of his five attempts from behind the arc.
Lin has looked lost at times this season, but he seemed to find a surfeit of the magic leftover from his Linsanity days with the Knicks. Most noticeably, he started to bounce with some of the same swag that lifted him out of NBA obscurity and into the rarefied heights of elite NBA performers.
Unlike Lin's spectacular displays in New York, though, Lin's heroics with the Rockets did not ultimately lift them to a victory. The Rockets fell to the Spurs in overtime 134-126.
Lin put up his prodigious numbers only a game after playing his least amount of minutes this season when the Rockets loss to the Mavs 116-109. In that game Lin had played a paltry 18 minutes, as Toney Douglas took the point guard reins.
Indeed, the Rockets coaching staff has had Lin on a yo-yo in terms of playing time this season, often benching him in favor of Douglas during fourth-quarter and extra-period crunch time.
How will Lin's first "Linsane" performance affect the rest of his season
It is not surprising then that Lin looked completely gassed after logging a whopping 42 minutes against the Spurs.
Prisoners of the moment might be tempted to say that Linsanity is back with this performance, but just as Lin's awe-inspiring outings with the Knicks came while superstar Carmelo Anthony was sidelined with an injury, Lin's Houston renewal of Linsanity took place sans the Rockets undisputed best player, James Harden.
It is not clear where Lin and the Rockets will go from here.
At the very least, Lin may have earned a consistent stretch of playing time from a coaching staff—that until tonight—had been quick to yank him off the court at the most pivotal moments.
Lin has seen some lowlights this season, but at least for one evening Linderella got his groove back.