Knicks deal with Kings, 112-99, after Julius Randle ejection – The Denver Post
It was the good and the bad of Julius Randle. The Jekyll and Hyde that defined his previous two seasons with the Knicks.
After dominating most of Sunday’s win over the Kings, Randle erupted at the referees and was ejected with two quick technical issues in the third quarter.
Randle was upset that he didn’t get a foul call during a practice, and he skipped a defensive possession to chase the referee with heated complaints. Randle didn’t stop after the first technique, prompting the power forward’s second whistle and first ejection of the season.
Instead of blaming Randle for the tantrum, Tom Thibodeau focused on his teammates’ responsibility for restraining the power forward after the first technique.
“Just an awareness,” Thibodeau said. “Go get him. It’s a dead ball.
Randle did not address the media after the Knicks’ 112-99 victory.
“It’s an emotional game,” Thibodeau said. “When he had the first technology, we have to do a better job of helping him get away. As a team, the staff, all of us. The way it was. And I get frustration. It was a physical match. And he got hammered on the game. But he can’t let that happen – he had a great game. We cannot be distracted. There will be failures. That’s part of it. Just keep competing. But when a guy is frustrated, we have to make sure we help him.
RJ Barrett was not on the field for the expulsion, but agreed Randle should have been held.
“We have to go get him,” Barrett said. “I would have caught it if I was in there. We have to catch him, we can’t let him have another one.
The incident marred an otherwise exquisite performance from Randle, who continued his hot streak with 27 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes. The ref’s reprimand wasn’t consequential to the result — the Knicks were up 15 at the time and sailed — but it was also unnecessary.
Randle was on pace for a third straight game with 30+ points, and the Knicks (14-13) won their season-high fourth straight game to climb above .500 for the first time since 16 november. They are tied for sixth place. in the Eastern Conference with the Pacers, a surprising position considering they were 11th earlier this month.
But the win took a toll beyond Randle’s ejection. Point guard Jalen Brunson sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter and his status is unknown for Wednesday’s game in Chicago.
Without their two best players for the final nine minutes, Barrett (27 points) carried the Knicks to the finish line.
“I liked the start of the game,” said Thibodeau. “I thought we had good energy, good intensity on both sides of the ball. But then it got jerky. And every time it got jerky, we responded. And I thought a lot of guys stepped up for us.