NEW YORK – Maybe someday Julius Randle will savor one of the best offensive nights in Knicks history.
Not on Monday. Not when it came in a losing effort.
And not when he blamed himself for the crucial rebound that got away.
Randle scored 57 points, matching the third-highest total in franchise history, but New York lost 140-134 to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I’m such a results-driven person, I try to focus on the process a little bit more and taking the necessary steps to get better and build as a team," Randle said. “So hopefully I will be able to. Tonight, probably not. I’m a little upset about the loss.”
Randle tied Richie Guerin behind the only two 60-point games in Knicks history, Carmelo Anthony’s 62 on Jan. 24, 2014, and Bernard King’s 60 on Christmas Day in 1984.
Randle had 52 through three quarters, already surpassing his previous best of 46 points.
The All-Star forward poured in a team-record 26 points in the third quarter, bringing the Knicks back into the game. The Wolves led 109-108 after being ahead by 17 in the first half.
His final basket, a three-point play with 42 seconds remaining, cut Minnesota's lead to 137-134, but Randle was beaten to a rebound by Kyle Anderson on Minnesota’s next possession, and a cutting Taurean Prince scored inside with 10.1 seconds left before Mike Conley made a free throw after Randle was called for a technical foul.
That left Randle kicking himself for not making the defensive play on a night when the offenses ruled.
“Jalen (Brunson) got a defensive stop, we’re down three, it’s my job to come up with that rebound, 14 seconds left,” Randle said. “If we do that, we have a chance to win the game — or not win the game, but at least tie the game. So I didn’t get the job done.”
Randle was 19 for 29 from the field and 8 for 14 from 3-point range.
“It’s a shame to waste a performance like that,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.
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