They ended the first quarter up nine and entered the fourth quarter up four. Eventually winning by eight, the Knicks are now on a five-game winning streak, their longest in seven years, and it’s almost solely been on the back of first-time All-Star Julius Randle, who put on a show Friday in his hometown of Dallas.
Randle has averaged the third-most points per game in the NBA over his last three contests, topping it off with a 44-point performance against the Mavs. Let’s just say he solidified this as a fact on Friday night.
Julius Randle being better than Porzingis is just an incredible NBA storyline— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) April 17, 2021
Randle hit six threes, his second straight game with at least five. He was also one field goal attempt away from a season-high 30. But, when you’re making them at a 55% clip, no one is going to complain.
Oh, and fellow former Wildcat Nerlens Noel had one of the best blocks you’ll see in the NBA this season.
On the season, Randle is now averaging a career-high 23.6 points per game. That puts him at No. 27 in the league, but it’s really been his performance as of late that’s turned heads.
With three straight 30-point games, Randle is clearly the leader of a playoff-contending Knicks roster, something no one thought the franchise would be in contention for prior to the season’s commencement.
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
What’s been terrific to see is the full onslaught of Randle’s game. It’s not just his scoring. We’ve seen great individual scorers in the past not ever see great team success. Randle has been more than just an elite option on the offensive end.
He’s putting in the effort as a rebounder, averaging a career-high 10.6 points per game. He’s also at a career-high 6.0 assists per game, so he’s been able to get everyone involved in the scoring.
This isn’t just a one-time fluke. Randle’s a true superstar, and at just 26, expect him to be dominating for at least the next half a decade.