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Knicks 118, Hornets 109 (OT): Scenes from the offense reawakening in OT

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Julius Randle was quite good.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at New York Knicks Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have reached the 40-win mark for the first time since 2012-13 — a feat made doubly impressive by the fact that this season only has 72 games — with Saturday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets. But it wasn’t easy.

The Knicks looked primed to run away with this one a couple of times early, but Charlotte kept making timely runs to stop the bleeding. As the third quarter came to a close, the Hornets drew to within three points. They quickly took the lead in the fourth quarter and looked poised to run away with the game themselves.

What followed was 10-or-so minutes of some of the nastiest basketball you will ever see. The Knicks got just enough from Julius Randle to inch back ahead.

A late runner from Terry Rozier tied the game at 104. Both teams had a shot to go ahead, but neither could convert. Overtime!

A few times this season, the Knicks’ offense has circled the toilet bowl late in the fourth, only to spring back to life in overtime as they once again realized they could pass the ball. That is exactly what happened Saturday, as Julius Randle carved up the Hornets as a facilitator.

Randle finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

The Knicks should have closed this game out in regulation, but they remain in play for the fourth seed in the East. Recap to come.