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Hornets 103, Knicks 102: Scenes from the Julius Randle Experience

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Live by Randle isos, die by Randle isos.

Charlotte Hornets v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Here’s what I’m struggling with, Knicks fans: Does Saturday night’s 103-102 loss to the Charlotte Hornets count as an embarrassment? For once, the ‘Bockers didn’t get blown out following a win. But should we consider blowing a 15-point lead to a Charlotte club playing the second night of a back-to-back an acceptable loss? These are the things that keep me awake at night as a Knicks fan. What a team we follow!

Anyway, the game was tight in the fourth, with the Knicks building a four-point lead late thanks to the heroics of RJ Barrett.

From then on, it was the Julius Randle Show. The Knicks’ highest-paid player (12 points on 5-13 shooting) briefly lived up to his billing, hitting three clutch shots in a row. On the other side of the court, Charlotte hit every shot and every free throw, because duh. Then New York went to the Randle well once too often, and he air-balled an impossible iso shot to give the Hornets the ball down 102-100, with a chance to win it with a three.

If you can’t figure out what happened next, you aren’t a true Knicks fan.

Devonte Graham, who torched MSG for 29 points, hit the game-winner with 2.1 seconds remaining. The Knicks, technically had a chance to win it, but they just had to throw it into Randle for yet another iso brick.

The Hornets shot 17-48 from beyond the arc. David Fizdale, misunderstood genius, decided that the best way to stop a team who wanted to shoot a lot of threes was to play zone D. It didn’t work.

Recap to come.