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“You just watch and you’re in awe,” D’Antoni said. “He held it until five-tenths of a second left. He was pretty confident that was going in, no rebounds, no nothing. That ball was being buried.”

Lin, cut by both Golden State and Houston in December, struggled early. He didn’t score for the first eight minutes of the game, then turned the ball over on three straight possessions early in the second quarter and Toronto took advantage with a 6-0 run, widening its lead to 13 points.

That was long forgotten by the end.

“When he hit that shot it was simply amazing, we were hugging at midcourt like we’d won a championship,” said Amare Stoudemire, who scored 21 points after missing four games following the death of an older brother in a Florida car crash.

Scouts and general managers may have missed Lin when he went undrafted two years ago, but people all over the NBA are watching him now. The reaction to his winner on Twitter was similar to one of LeBron James’ or Blake Griffin’s huge dunks.

“It’s crazy!” Phoenix guard Steve Nash wrote. “I’m watching Linsanity hoping every shot goes in. Hope I never grow up.”

But Lin deflects the praise to his teammates, even though they were going nowhere until he started getting real minutes on Feb. 4.

“It’s not because of me, it’s because we’re coming together as a team,” Lin said. “We started making these steps earlier but we were still losing close games and so obviously it wasn’t fun. But when you win, that solves a lot of problems. We’ve been winning and we’ve been playing together.”