If you want to see an NBA All-Star in action, feel free to tune into MSG the next time the New York Knicks play. Julius Randle made an emphatic case for All-Star consideration Monday night, willing his team to victory over a game Atlanta Hawks team, 123-112.
How good was Randle? Try 44 points on 14-22 shooting, including a career-high 7 three-pointers, to go along with 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Randle started out on fire with 17 first-quarter points as the Knicks stormed out to an early 13-point lead. But the Hawks crawled back into the game in the second quarter thanks to some hot shooting and some absolute bullshit calls in favor of Trae Young.
The Knicks clung to a three-point lead at the half, and the Hawks absolutely blew the doors off them to start the third, building a quick 7-point advantage. The starters looked sluggish, and Tom Thibodeau wasn’t going to make any changes just yet. We’ve seen this farce play out so many times over the years.
This time, however, Randle would not let the Knicks go quietly. He canned back-to-back threes to cut into Atlanta’s advantage, and his teammates rallied behind him, taking the lead back by the end of the third.
The fourth quarter remained a tense affair until Randle struck once again, hitting this filthy jumper at the end of the shot clock to put the Hawks to bed.
TELL ME THIS MAN ISN'T AN ALL STAR— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) February 16, 2021
42 points pic.twitter.com/0VActlrlWr
But this game was about more than just Randle. Let’s credit RJ Barrett (21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists), who nailed a pair of clutch triples in the fourth, this one off a beautiful feed from Immanuel Quickley.
This lineup desperately needed RJ to knock down open 3s & he came through in the clutch twice. Watch him this whole play, how smart he is moving without the ball. He cuts middle at the perfect time and forces Collins to make a tough choice. Beautiful drive and dish from IQ too. pic.twitter.com/i2tYxY95RJ— Tom Piccolo (@Tom_Piccolo) February 16, 2021
Quickley did his thing, as usual, with 16 points and 5 assists. Look at this nonsense.
No hesitation, just devastation pic.twitter.com/7mMIx46kp2— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) February 16, 2021
In the end, though, the win belonged to Randle. And his teammates knew it. Take it away, Theo Pinson!
Hmmmmm wonder who's getting the postgame interview tonight...THE ALL STAR pic.twitter.com/BPFF1oZe8q— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) February 16, 2021
Julius Randle forever! Recap to come.