Julius Randle continues sturdy play, Knicks win 115-102 over Magic – The Mercury Information


Julius Randle was once more again on his pandemic groove.

The ability ahead, whose 2020-21 pandemic season was among the many greatest in latest Knicks historical past, continued his sturdy begin to this marketing campaign by dropping 25 factors with 12 boards in Monday night time’s 115-102 victory over the Magic.

“Julius was terrific from begin to end,” coach Tom Thibodeau stated. “I really like the best way he’s diversifying his recreation. Operating the ground. Generally he’s the tempo man, he’ll push it up after which he’ll create motion. Generally he simply beats folks down the ground. Him getting simple baskets is big for us.”

Randle misplaced his smile and his jumper final season as followers returned to arenas, prompting outbursts on the court docket and rumors of a relocation. However he’s clearly in a greater house after the lengthy offseason. Randle even despatched an Instagram message Monday to Madison Sq. Backyard, “I’ve missed you.”

That sentiment would’ve been exhausting to consider about 5 months in the past.

Now it’s convincing.

“I really feel extra free and enjoyable to play if I’m not simply hanging within the backcourt searching for the ball, however operating and making movement,” Randle stated.

On Monday, the 1-time All-Star was ending in transition whereas RJ Barrett shot poorly and Jalen Brunson navigated foul hassle.

The Knicks (2-1), who completed with 24 assists, gained their second straight in opposition to a backside dweller of the Jap Convention. They beat the Pistons on Friday and end a three-game homestand with one other winnable recreation Wednesday in opposition to the Hornets.

The rebuilding Magic (0-4) might be firmly within the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes this season. Their prime participant is that this yr’s No. 1 decide, Paolo Banchero, a really early Rookie of the 12 months frontrunner who scored 21 factors in 34 minutes Monday.

However they couldn’t cling Monday with the Knicks, who led for the ultimate three quarters.

Brunson was the stabilizer whereas scoring 21 factors with six assists in 33 minutes. When the Knicks regarded susceptible as a result of their lead fell to six with 4 minutes left, Brunson responded with an and-1 jumper. It was all of the separation the Knicks required.

“You possibly can’t say sufficient about what Jalen does for the staff. He’s simply in full management always,” Thibodeau stated. “You hit some powerful spots within the recreation and he has simply such a powerful demeanor and powerful face and it’s one in every of willpower. It offers your staff perception that we are able to do that. We will play nicely and we are able to get out of this.”

The second unit ran rampant with Obi Toppin offering his common array of highlights. This time, Toppin’s biggest play was a cross: a no-look behind-the-back dish to Barrett for a breakaway dunk.

“R.J. was screaming my identify after we had been at halfcourt already, so I knew I used to be passing to him it doesn’t matter what,” Toppin stated.


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