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Home Sport Julius Randle's triple-double propels Knicks to second consecutive win

Julius Randle’s triple-double propels Knicks to second consecutive win


The #Knicks arrived in #Cleveland with a pack of injured players. #But #Julius #Randle is healthy — boy, is he ever.

#In his fourth straight powerful performance, #Randle posted a 28-point triple-double. #And afterward, he was even happy as a clam on #Zoom.

The 6-foot-9 southpaw scored 28 points and collected 12 rebounds with his #Knicks-high 11 assists as the club won its second straight in taking out the previously unbeaten #Cavaliers, 95-86, at #Rocket #Mortgage #FieldHouse on #Tuesday.

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#Randle, finally reflecting on this massive turnaround of a season, admitted he lost weight and returned with plenty to prove after an uneven first season as a #Knick.

“They challenged me going into the offseason to come back a better player,’’ #Randle said. “I’m going to put that pressure on myself as well to challenge myself and get better every year. #Last year was a great learning experience for me. #But this year I’m coming back a better player and came back in great shape. #And that’s just part of the culture we’re building. #We’re competing and not backing down from anybody.’’

Julius Randle, who had a triple double, drives to the basket during the Knicks' 95-86 win over the Cavaliers.
#Julius #Randle, who had a triple double, drives to the basket during the #Knicks’ 95-86 win over the #Cavaliers.
NBAE via #Getty #Images

#As #Tom #Thibodeau kept his rotation to eight men, the head coach’s defensive-minded team moved to 2-2 in shaking off 26 turnovers before a limited, socially distanced crowd of 300 fans.

#Randle never let up after a sensational first quarter. #He chased down a loose ball in the left corner and drilled the clinching 3-pointer with 5:40 left to stifle the #Cavaliers’ comeback attempt. The basket lifted the #Knicks into a 10-point lead.

#On the next possession, #Randle picked up his triple-double when he fed point guard #Elfrid #Payton for a 3-pointer.

“I feel like he’s more focused now,’’ said #Knicks starting center #Mitchell #Robinson, who posted nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. “When he’s coming in, he’s coming strong. #Especially in the summertime, all the hours he done put in, it’s just paying off. #He’s going out there and doing his thing.’’

#Randle now has seven career triple-doubles, but this was his first as a #Knick, failing to notch one in his inaugural year at the #Garden. #On the downside, #Randle was close to a quadruple-double as he committed nine turnovers in his 44 minutes.

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#Randle has seemed grumpy and curt on previous #Zoom interviews — mostly because he’s felt disrespected by the media who had labeled him a trade chip and a disappointing $60 million investment. #Tuesday, he was more like the expansive #Randle of last season.

“I just tried to take what the defense gave me, make the right plays,’’ #Randle said. “My teammates did a good job of being in position when the defense collapsed. #Made it easy for me to kick out. #When they didn’t collapse I just tried to make sure to get to my spot to score. I got to cut down on my turnovers obviously.’’

#Randle staged a ridiculous first quarter in leading the #Knicks — down five players, including #Alec #Burks, #Obi #Toppin and #Immanuel #Quickley — to a 29-15 lead. #He made all five of his shots, including two 3-pointers. #He wound up with 14 first-quarter points, six rebounds and five assists. #On the night, #Randle made all four of his 3-pointers.

#On one sequence, #Randle snatched a rebound, sprinted up-court past the #Cavaliers defense and fed #Payton for a layup. #He rarely showed that lightning speed last season. #He’s lighter on his feet — and altogether lighter despite the club still listing him at 250 pounds.

“I ran pretty much every day,’’ #Randle said. “That was just a challenge for me to get in extreme condition. I dropped a little bit of weight, but the biggest thing was just pushing myself just to run every day and just challenging myself in that way.”

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#Thibodeau saw #Randle’s conditioning in the summer before OTAs began — and then in #September when the team had those #Delete 8 workouts.

#It’s truly been an #All-Star start.

“I think the first part is he came into camp in great shape,’’ #Thibodeau said. “I saw what type of shape he was in, so I knew he was highly motivated. #So I think that’s a big advantage for him. I also think he has a pretty good understanding of his teammates and what their strengths are. #And he’s playing unselfishly.’’

#Payton, meanwhile, put together his second straight solid outing. #He scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. #Payton also had seven assists and eight rebounds after his stunning performance against #Milwaukee on #Sunday.

#Reggie #Bullock, who has started all season at shooting guard, banged in five 3-pointers — the #Knicks made 14 of 25 attempts — and finished with 17 points. #Cleveland, which fell to 3-1, was led by #Andre #Drummond’s six blocks, 17 rebounds and 18 points.

#In getting off to a 3-0 start, the #Cavaliers were the best 3-point shooting team in the league. #Somehow they missed their first 10 3-pointers #Tuesday and finished 7 of 32.

“I liked our energy,’’ #Thibodeau said of the defense. “It’s still not where it needs to be. I thought they missed some wide-open ones, too. #But even when we’re making mistakes, we’re flying around, we’re making the attempt to get out there and challenge shots and it makes a difference.’’



[ source link ]
https://nypost.com/2020/12/29/julius-randles-triple-double-propels-knicks-to-second-consecutive-win/

##Julius ##Randles #tripledouble #propels ##Knicks #consecutive #win

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