Julius Randle’s All Star performance lifts Knicks past Hawks
Julius Randle deserves to be an All Star this season. If anyone around the league is still in doubts, his game last night against the Hawks was a very strong statement to his case.
Randle pounded the Hawks with a season-high 44 points and career-high 7 three pointers as the Knicks connected three consecutive wins for the second time this season, 112-123 at the (still) empty seated Garden.
The 26 year old power forward logged his third game of 30 points or more and was just one point away from scoring a career-high, a record previously set with the Pelicans. He also added 9 rebounds and 5 assists to his account but who’s still counting those?
“I kind of felt I let the team down last year. I didn’t have my best performance. A lot of people wrote me off. And it was motivation and fuel. My game is at a level that it hasn’t been at before”
– Julius Randle
The Knicks were propelled early in the game by Randle’s 17 points in the first quarter and went up by double figures but the Hawks fought back, regained confidence and went on a 11-0 run at the end of the second quarter that carried them into the third. They went up by five but couldn’t hold on.
Randle was on fire, then Elfrid Payton stepped up when the team needed him most, and scored 8 of his total 12 points in a span of 2 minutes late in the third, giving the Knicks the lead back.
The Hawks, led by Trae Young’s 23 points (almost half of them from the free throw line) and 8 assists forced a comeback in the fourth but were unable to tie the game. Clint Capella had 15 points and a game high 18 rebounds, John Collins had 19 buckets and former Knicks pick, Danilo Gallinari, had 16 points off the bench.
RJ Barrett had 21 points for the Knicks after struggling with his shooting in the past 4 games. Immanuel Quickley led the second unit with 16 points and 5 assists while Derrick Rose had 8 points.
Knicks (14-15) will travel to Orlando to take on the Magic (10-18) on Wednesday, at 7:00 pm.