A season ago, the Knicks were the laughingstock of the basketball world after they handed Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks on a silver platter and hitched their wagon to Julius Randle (stat-padding loser) and RJ Barrett (not even on the All-Rookie teams). What a difference a year makes!
Randle put to bed any lingering doubts the league might have over his greatness with an absolutely dominant performance in Friday night’s win over the Mavs: 44 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. It was a performance worthy of the King himself.
Julius Randle is the first Knicks player with 40 Pts, 10 Reb and 5 Ast in a single game since Bernard King did it on March 22, 1985 in a win against the Pacers. pic.twitter.com/mIzwFK66gO— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 17, 2021
The game was a tense, back-and-forth affair after the Mavs erased an early Knicks lead in the second quarter. New York held a four-point lead heading into the fourth, when Dallas tried to rest Porzingis and superstar Luka Doncic at the start of the period. With Alec Burks out due to COVID protocols, the Knicks needed another fourth-quarter gunner. This time, it was RJ Barrett who stepped up.
"MR. 4TH QUARTER" RJ BARRETT IS BACK FOLKS pic.twitter.com/CeqFDEOryg— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 17, 2021
RJ was the Robin to Jules’ Batman, chipping in 24 points and 8 rebounds. He took charge of the game with Randle on the bench, handing the Knicks a lead they would not relinquish.
Oh, and even Frank Ntilikina got some action!
FRANK TIME pic.twitter.com/PgE5V7hRsY— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 17, 2021
The Knicks are now 3-0 against Porzingis whenever Frank plays. Think about it!
Also, let’s give a shout-out to Nerlens Noel for showing the Mavs what’s up.
NERLENS pic.twitter.com/0RkvxCJbfF— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) April 17, 2021
I don’t know how the hell I’m supposed to sleep now. Recap coming tomorrow morning. FIVE WINS IN A ROW, BABY!