Even in defeat, New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin drew praise from the Spurs and the fans who cheered every time he scored Wednesday night.
While the AT&T Center wasn't gripped by the "Linsanity" that took the country by storm last month, Lin played a solid game in the Knicks' 118-105 loss to the Southwest Division leaders.
"Jeremy Lin has been playing very well," Spurs point guard Tony Parker said. "He's been helping the Knicks and has had some great games. He's doing a good job for them and he had a good game tonight."
Parker was outstanding in the victory, scoring 32 points while converting 12 of 19 field-goal attempts and 8 of 9 free throws.
Lin hit 7 of 15 shots, including 2 of 4 from the 3-point line, and finished with 20 points, four assists and only one turnover. But he never quite got on the kind of roll that made him an international story last month.
"Of course, we were all fans of what he did the first couple of weeks," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "It was crazy. It was a unique story in sports, but today we just took him as another opponent.
"He's a good player, but sometimes we play Chris Paul or Deron Williams or other good point guards. It was a matter of playing good team defense and following the game plan, especially against him."
Lin's fans were just glad to see him play in the Knicks' only regular-season game in San Antonio.
"It was a great experience to see Lin play, even though the Knicks lost," said Knicks fan John Piperis, 21, who lives in Corpus Christi but was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. "I like him and I wanted to see him play. I'm glad I made the trip."
Lin 'like a shot of adrenaline' for Knicks, NBA
Mike Hernandez has lived in San Antonio for about a year after moving from New York City, where he was born and raised. Wearing a blue-and-orange "Linsanity" T-shirt, he said he has enjoyed watching the impact Lin has had on the Knicks and the NBA this season.
"Some of the excitement has worn off from a few weeks ago, but he's still been like a shot of adrenaline," said Hernandez, 30. "He's been a great story, especially since he came from nowhere. I was planning to come to this game anyway, but coming to see him play made it even better."
Ronny Fang, a 24-year-old senior at the University of Texas in Austin, called Lin a "great inspiration" who has made fans throughout the country.
"I watch all the Knicks games because of Lin," said Fang, who is from China. "I quit watching the NBA after Michael Jordan quit playing, but Lin has gotten me back into it. I really enjoy watching him play."
James Hu has lived in San Antonio for 37 years, but is originally from Taiwan. While he's a Spurs fan, his allegiance was with Lin and the Knicks on Wednesday night.
"I'm a Lin fan," said Hu, 70. "I always support the Spurs, but tonight is a special occasion."
Maury Maverick Huey, Hu's friend, nodded in agreement.
"He's very good," said Huey, who was born in Hong Kong. "He makes Asians proud."
Lin's parents from Taiwan
Lawrence Bailey, a 22-year-old San Antonian, said he is a big fan of Lin and Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.
"As good as Carmelo is, I believe the Knicks are going to be Lin's team with time," Bailey said. "He's not afraid to go in there and get to the basket, no matter who's in the paint."
Josh Yang, 33, was born in Taiwan but lives in San Antonio now.
"Actually, I'm a Spurs fan but I'm a Lin fan, too," Yang said. "I'm proud to see someone with Taiwanese roots do well."
Lin, 23, was born in Los Angeles but his parents emigrated from Taiwan to the United States in the mid-1970s.
Yung Chung Lo, a student at Texas A&M, and several of his Taiwanese classmates made the trip from College Station to see Lin play.
Lo held a sign, written in Mandarin, that read, "Lin blocks Spurs."
"We just had to see him play," Lo said.