One entered the season with the weight of years of hype and anticipation of his arrival. The other could have walked down the street and gone unnoticed as recently as two weeks ago.

Last night, point guards Ricky Rubio and Jeremy Lin went head-to-head for the first time, with Lin making one more play than his counterpart down the stretch to help the Knicks earn a hard-fought 100-98 win over the Timberwolves and stretch their winning streak to five games.

"He's good," said Rubio, who finished with 12 points, eight assists and three steals for Minnesota. "[In] the first half he scored amazing baskets, and he's doing a great job.

"Even with everybody talking about him, he avoids the pressure. Doing it one or two times is good, but doing it four or five times in a row already is amazing."