NBA Basketball

Randle scores 27 as Knicks hold off Bulls 107-103

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) Julius Randle scored 27 points and tied a career high by hitting five 3-pointers, and the New York Knicks beat the Chicago Bulls 107-103 on Wednesday night.

New York outscored the Bulls 34-17 in the first quarter. The Knicks withstood a huge run in the fourth and came away with the win after losing two nights earlier in Chicago.

Randle made 5 of 7 from beyond the arc to equal his career best at Brooklyn on Dec. 26, 2019. He hit three in a row late in the opening quarter.

"That's what we expect from him," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "A veteran leader. Plays strong on both sides of the ball. Shared the ball. Make the right plays. Set an example for everyone as to how you're gonna work. You give the team the belief that we can win. And you get to that by making hustle plays."

Elfrid Payton added 20 points and eight rebounds. RJ Barrett scored 17, and the Knicks picked up the win after dropping five of six.

Zach LaVine led Chicago with 24 points, though he was 0 for 7 on 3's. Thaddeus Young scored 19. Lauri Markkanen, coming off back-to-back outings with 30 or more, cooled off with nine points.

The Bulls shot about 49% overall despite making just 6 of 36 3-pointers. They have lost four of their past five games overall and are 3-7 at home.

"I'm hopeful it's a real good learning experience competitively for our guys," coach Billy Donovan said. "We shot the ball miserably tonight. That happens. You have to find other ways to win. I thought we got dirty and grimy and physical, but it needed to be that way a lot earlier."


The Knicks led 94-76 early in the fourth before the Bulls went on a 20-5 run. Daniel Gafford's alley-oop and Markkanen's driving dunk cut it to 99-96 with 5:45 left.

Reggie Bullock made a 3 for New York and Payton pulled up for a turnaround jumper in the lane to bump the lead back up to eight with 3:33 remaining.

Coby White hit a 3 for Chicago, but Randle answered with a jumper with just over two minutes remaining.

A driving dunk by LaVine cut it to 106-101 with 1:18 left. It remained that way until Young tipped in White's missed 3 in the closing seconds.

"It was kind of like a playoff game in a sense, where you're playing a team back to back and we were able to make the necessary adjustments that we need to make," Randle said. "I think just our start of the game was a million times better as far as our intensity, our focus and our energy. We made the adjustments. They're a good team. They're a good offensive team. We had to be locked in and we were."


Knicks: New York's first 22 points came in the paint before Randle hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions and Alec Burks added another one. ... Coach Tom Thibodeau had good things to say about new Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas, as well as coach Billy Donovan and assistant Maurice Cheeks. The two spent time together when Thibodeau was an assistant for the U.S. National Team and Karnisovas was scouting for USA Basketball. "I think he has a great understanding," said Thibodeau, who coached the Bulls from 2010 to 2015. "I think he's a great fit for the city. High-character guy, very intelligent. I love Billy and Mo Cheeks as well. The people they have in leadership positions are excellent."

Bulls: White was 2 of 8 on 3's and Markkanen missed all four. ... The Bulls outscored the Knicks 62-50 in the paint. ... Chicago held out F Otto Porter Jr. (lower back spasms) for the fourth time in 10 games. And Donovan wasn't sure he'll make the trip to Orlando, where the Bulls play Friday and Saturday.


Knicks: Host Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Bulls: Open a two-game set at struggling Orlando on Friday.


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Updated February 3, 2021

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