Lin, Knicks try to stay hot vs. Lakers

The flavor of the day in Gotham faces another tough test on Friday, when Jeremy Lin and the Knicks play host to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at Madison Square Garden.

Lin has exploded from obscurity over the past week, averaging 25.3 points and 8.3 assists during a three-game winning streak for New York. Most recently the Harvard product recorded 23 points and 10 assists as the Knicks downed the Washington Wizards, 107-93, in the nation's capital on Wednesday.

Lin was making just his second career start for the undermanned Knicks, who were without stars Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Tyson Chandler recorded 25 points and 11 rebounds in New York's eighth consecutive victory over Washington.

"I do what I can to help the team win every time I step on the floor and I'm not really worried about proving anything to anybody right now," said Lin.

Anthony will remain on the sidelines tonight with a strained right groin, while Stoudemire isn't expected back from grieving the death of his brother, who perished in a car accident, until next week.

The Lakers, meanwhile, improved to 2-2 on their annual Grammy road trip last night in Boston, taking a hard-fought 88-87 overtime victory over the Celtics. Andrew Bynum's late tip-in during the extra frame proved to be the difference in that one.

Bryant netted 27 points in Beantown while Bynum and Pau Gasol both had double- doubles on Thursday. Bynum totaled 16 points and 17 rebounds, while Gasol added 25 and 14, including a tip-in with 9.8 seconds left in regulation that tied things at 82.

Bryant, of course, loves playing at the World's Most Famous Arena and has averaged an eye-popping 40.0 points per game in his last four visits to NYC.

Overall, the Knicks have lost nine in a row to Los Angeles, including four straight at MSG.