Knicks takeaways from Friday’s 115-113 preseason win over Wizards, including Julius Randle’s game-winner



Julius Randle driving the floor white uniform

Julius Randle driving the floor white uniform

The Knicks closed out their preseason schedule with an electrifying 115-113 win over the Washington Wizards, coming back from a 19-point deficit.

Here are some key takeaways …

– With Kemba Walker back in the lineup after a night of rest against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, he started alongside Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Taj Gibson.

– The Knicks came out of the gates shooting the three-point shot early and often, attempting eight in the first five and half minutes. Barrett, who struggled with his shot on Wednesday, knocked down an early pair of threes.

But the Knicks shooting was ice-cold for most of the quarter, as they started 4-of-19 with 10 straight misses at one point. Led by Aaron Holiday’s seven points, the Wizards led 26-15 after one.

– With 9:05 left in the first quarter, Mitchell Robinson checked in for his preseason debut following March foot surgery. He scored his first bucket on a second-chance opportunity in the first, missing his first shot before getting his own rebound and slamming it down with two hands.

Robinson played 12 minutes in the first half.

– The Knicks continued to trail throughout the second quarter. Immanuel Quickley provided a bit of a spark off the bench, as did Derrick Rose, but the cold shooting, especially from downtown, continued. The Knicks were just 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from beyond the arc, as the Wizards took a 60-49 into the break.

Walker led the Knicks with 10 points in the first two quarters, adding four assists as well.

– The Knicks cut the lead down to nine in the early minutes of the third quarter, with a Barrett dunk giving him 10 points for the game. Just as the Wizards started to pull away again, threes from Barrett and Rose kept the lead at 10. The Knicks got a little lazy in the final moments of the quarter, allowing an easy offensive rebound and layup that gave the Wizards a 15-point lead going into the final quarter.

– Rose ignited the Knicks offense in the fourth, with some help from rookie Quentin Grimes. Rose’s second three of the game capped off a mini 7-0 run to cut Washington’s lead to seven points with 10 minutes to go.

Tom Thibodeau’s intensity is never in doubt, but it was on full display when he picked up a technical foul in the fourth quarter of the final preseason game after disagreeing with an out-of-bounds call.

Meanwhile, Gibson fouled out early in the fourth, which led to perhaps more minutes for Robinson than the Knicks had anticipated. Midway through the quarter, Robinson looked gassed running back on defense, which is to be expected in his first game back. He played 26 minutes in total, with six points and nine rebounds.

Playing with a smaller lineup with Randle at center and Obi Toppin at the four, Toppin knocked down a corner three to cut the lead to eight with just over five minutes to go. The Knicks kept the pressure on the Wizards, as Rose drilled a three-pointer to cut the lead that was once as large as 19 down to five points with two minutes to go. Toppin then ripped the ball away from the Wizards that led to threes from Toppin and Randle to cut the lead to one.

With 48 seconds left, a pair of Randle free throws gave the Knicks their first lead of the game. Barrett came up with a big block in the final half-minute, but a Corey Kispert three tied the game with 15 seconds left.

With the game tied, Thibodeau put the ball in Randle’s hands. He went iso against Daniel Gafford, and when no help came, Randle nailed a step-back elbow jumper to give the Knicks the win.

Randle finished with 21 points, while Rose led the team with 28.


What’s next

The Knicks preseason is in the books. They’ll host the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night at 7:30 in their regular season opener.


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