NEW YORK (AP)Julius Randle had 28 points and 16 rebounds to lead the New York Knicks to a 102-83 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday in New York.
”My teammates are getting me the ball in the right spots. They’re getting me going early,” Randle said. ”It’s just focus and effort, night in and night out.”
Jalen Brunson, who returned after missing three games with a sore right hip, scored 24 points. Immanuel Quickley scored 15 points, Quentin Grimes had 12 and Mitchell Robinson finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks.
”I shot 6-of-11 from the foul line. There’s the rust,” Brunson said. ”I started out 0-for-3 and didn’t finish the game the way I wanted to shooting-wise. But I was still in rhythm. I feel I can be more efficient, but I was just happy to be back out there.”
Deandre Ayton led Phoenix with 12 points. Chris Paul had 11 and Mikal Bridges added 10.
The Suns, who lost for the sixth time in their last seven games, scored the first four points of the game. The Knicks followed with the next 14 and led the rest of the way.
New York went ahead 23-11 after the first quarter, the lowest total allowed to any opponent in any quarter by the Knicks since Feb. 1, 2020 (vs. Indiana).
Phoenix pulled to within 11, but a 21-0 Knicks run produced a game-high 32-point lead, 52-20.
The Suns ended the second quarter on an 11-2 streak and trailed 54-31. Phoenix tied for the fewest halftime points scored by a Knicks opponent since Orlando also scored 31 on April 11, 2015.
”Defensively, we had to get back to our ways,” Randle said. ”When we won eight in a row, the defensive end was big for us. We feel that rhythm and chemistry coming back on that end.”
The Knicks went up 74-43 following a 10-run but had their lead cut to 79-58 after the third quarter.
”I thought the way our guys came out, they played really hard defensively and played very unselfish offensively,” said Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau. ”It is sometimes difficult to play with a lead like that, but I thought our guys did a good job of playing tough. They can make up ground quickly the way they shoot threes. That was a big concern.”
The Suns, who scored a season low, only got as close as 18 points, 83-65, in the fourth quarter.
”It is a mind-boggling thing,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. ”The frustration comes in for us because we’ve been a team that can overcome that when we are not shooting the ball well. Mentally and emotionally, I have to get our guys stronger. We haven’t been able to handle those kinds of lapses this year.”
Suns: Leading scorer Devin Booker (sore left groin) missed his fourth consecutive game. . Bridges is the lone Phoenix player to start all 38 games this season. Damion Lee is the only other Sun to play in all 38.
Knicks: RJ Barrett (lacerated right index finger) missed his third straight game. . The Knicks had lost nine straight games to the Suns. New York had not beaten Phoenix since Nov. 3, 2017 (120-107 at MSG). . Randle, who posted a double-double for the 10th time in his last 11 games, is the only Knick to start all 38 games this season. He heard loud chants of ”MVP” throughout the game. ”It’s good to be on the good side of the Garden,” Randle said.
HOME SWEET HOME?
The Knicks are the only NBA team to have a winning record so far this season but a losing record (9-10) at home. Monday’s win snapped a three-game home losing streak.
Suns: Phoenix visits the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
Knicks: New York hosts the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
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