Julius Randle has big night as Knicks stun Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO — Knicks president Leon Rose didn’t see an upgrade and declined to sell off pieces at Thursday’s trade deadline and hurt the team’s chances to contend.

Rose kept the struggling band together, and for one night, it paid off as the Knicks posted a stunning and thrilling 116-114 upset win over the mighty Warriors on Thursday night at Chase Arena.

Julius Randle, who was spared being sent away, had his fourth straight powerhouse game with 28 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, playing his best ball since October.

“It’s important because of where we are,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The thing I liked about it was the resolve of the team tonight. We played really well today, but can’t feel too good about it. I loved the unselfishness of the team. We drove the ball and weren’t trying to shoot over their size. It was a real solid team win.’’

Cam Reddish, who drew interest from the Lakers at the deadline, made one of two free throws with 6.2 seconds left to put the Knicks up 116-114. Reddish finished with 12 points in his first impactful game with the team.

Julius Randle, who scored 28 points, goes up for a layup during the Knicks’ 116-114 win over the Warriors.
NBAE via Getty Images

Down two after Reddish’s free throws, the Warriors’ Klay Thompson hit iron on a 12-footer at the buzzer with Evan Fournier defending. Fournier bought a pump fake but recovered.

“I tried to make it hard — just glad it didn’t go in,’’ Fournier said.

The Knicks (25-31) moved to 1-3 on their five-game Western trip as they zero in on getting back into the top 10 in the East to qualify for the play-in event.

“Obviously to know we’re going to finish this season with this group, there’s a relief for sure,’’ said Fournier, who was the subject of trade talks. “I’m not going to lie.’’

The Warriors closed to within two in the final minute, but Stephen Curry (35 points) blew a layup and Randle came down to score inside on goaltending by rookie Jonathan Kuminga with 22.1 seconds left, putting the Knicks up 114-110.

Fournier pumped in 22 points and, in addition to Reddish and Randle, the Knicks even got double-digit nights out of Taj Gibson (10) and former Warrior Alec Burks (15).

Randle’s recent success has stemmed from pushing the pace.

“I just had to adjust to the way we’re being played,’’ Randle said. “We’ve been trying to adjust and be uptempo all year and haven’t been able to figure it out.’’

scored 22 points, shoots over Klay Thompson during the Knicks' win.
Evan Fournier, who scored 22 points, shoots over Klay Thompson during the Knicks’ win.
Getty Images

The Knicks blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead as the Warriors closed to 104-102 with four minutes left. Fournier hit a big 3-pointer to jack the lead back up five.

After two offensive rebounds by Mitchell Robinson, rookie Quentin Grimes nailed a crucial 3-pointer putting the Knicks up 112-105 with 2:10 remaining.

The win came without RJ Barrett, out with a sprained ankle, allowing Reddish to get meaningful minutes.

The Knicks caught the Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back after Golden State had its nine-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday against the Jazz. The Warriors (41-15) looked sluggish until their fourth-quarter charge as the Knicks moved to 3-0 in this new downtown arena.

The Knicks went on an 11-0 run to start the second half. A cold Kemba Walker heated up, scoring on a traditional three-point play, then sank a left-wing 3-pointer as the Knicks took a 68-62 lead.

The Knicks didn’t wilt early in the fourth. An Immanuel Quickley drive made it 90-82 and Burks got hot and the Knicks built a 97-84 lead with 9:59 left.

The Knicks had blown double-digit leads in Los Angeles and Utah and finally held on.

“Tonight we were just more aggressive — it wasn’t that much different from LA or Utah,’’ Fournier said.

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