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Knicks 137, Hawks 127 (OT): Scenes from overtime is Randle time

Another 40 points for Jules.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t easy, but the New York Knicks are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

The red-hot Knicks ran into an equally red-hot Atlanta Hawks squad Wednesday night with fourth place in the Eastern Conference on the line. Our guys got out-played and out-hustled pretty much from start to finish. To top it off, both of their remaining rotation centers, Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson, were injured and left the game. Tough to watch, it was.

But these are not the tissue-soft Knicks of yesteryear. They trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter, but they caught a break when Trae Young injured his ankle. Rookie Immanuel Quickley went on one of his patented late-game scoring binges to pull New York back into it.

Once again, the steady play of Derrick Rose boosted the team down the stretch after Elfrid Payton crapped all over himself in the third quarter.

Julius Randle helped put the Knicks up three with :08 left, but the Hawks got a clutch three from Bogdan Bogdanovich to send it to OT.

That’s when Julius Randle took over. Jules was good throughout — he scored 40 points grabbed 11 rebounds and dished 6 assists — but he was truly special in the extra period, with the shot and the pass.

Credit Nerlens Noel, who came back into the game in the fourth after catching an elbow to the face and played throughout most of the fourth and all of OT. These guys are tough.

Recap to come. Eight in a row!