New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) shoots over Los Angeles Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
LOS ANGELES — Julius Randle scored 33 points in a bounce-back performance, RJ Barrett got 20 of his 30 in the second half, and the New York Knicks snapped their three-game losing streak with a 112-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.
Immanuel Quickley had 15 points as the Knicks survived a ferocious late rally by the Lakers to salvage a weekend split in Los Angeles without second-leading scorer Jalen Brunson, who has a bruised left foot.
Los Angeles scored eight straight points down the stretch, trimming New York’s lead to two points on Dennis Schröder’s layup with 19.3 seconds left. After Los Angeles needed 14 seconds to commit a foul to stop the clock, former Lakers guard Josh Hart hit two free throws to seal it.
“We did enough to win, and the tone was set at the beginning by Julius,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. “It gave us the confidence that, you know, ‘We’re here.’ … We have a very young team, so when you have a young team and Julius is just going into his prime, the only way they’re going to get better is by working. If they’re not working, they’re not going to get better.”
New York hadn’t won since its impressive nine-game winning streak ended a week ago, but Randle added eight rebounds and five assists one day after struggling through a 5-for-24 shooting effort in a loss to the Clippers.
“Shooting the ball the way I did yesterday, I wanted to be a little bit more in attack mode and aggressive going to the basket,” Randle said.
D’Angelo Russell had a season-high 33 points and eight assists despite managing just two points in the fourth quarter for the Lakers, whose three-game winning streak ended with only their fourth loss in 12 games since the trade deadline. Russell said the Lakers struggled against the Knicks’ trap defense in the fourth quarter.
“That one hurt for us,” Russell said. “We were battling, trying to do everything we could. Couldn’t get enough rebounds, enough stops. Making those shots just didn’t go our way, I guess. Can’t pinpoint anything, really. It’s tough.”
Randle and Russell spent two seasons together as teammates with the Lakers. Russell got off to a scorching start in his highest-scoring performance since rejoining LA, but went 1 for 5 and missed three 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter.
Anthony Davis had 17 points and 16 rebounds, but the Lakers fell behind during an erratic shooting performance by three starters: Malik Beasley, Troy Brown Jr. and Jarred Vanderbilt were a combined 5 for 23, missing 14 of their 16 3-point attempts.
“I played terrible,” Davis said. “I couldn’t find my shot. Free throws. Layups. Everything. Guys did their job. I didn’t do my job tonight.”
Los Angeles dropped to 4-3 during the latest injury absence for LeBron James, who missed his seventh straight game with a sore right foot.
Knicks: Thibodeau gave no timetable for Brunson’s return, saying the guard will “continue to do treatments and see where he is.” Brunson has missed four of New York’s last five games. … New York beat the Lakers in Los Angeles for the first time in four meetings since 2019.
Lakers: James wasn’t wearing a walking boot on the Lakers’ bench when he returned after not attending their previous two games. Coach Darvin Ham said James’ rehab is “going according to plan,” but it was good for the NBA’s career scoring leader to “unplug a little bit.” … Los Angeles got 43 combined points from the only four bench players used by Ham.
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