The Brooklyn Nets escaped with a 112-110 win over the Knicks on Tuesday. Brooklyn was up by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, but New York refused to go away. After an exhilarating fourth quarter, the game came down to two free throws by James Johnson with 2.2 seconds remaining.
A win is a win, but what makes it even sweeter for Nets fans is what Julius Randle had to say after the game … in addition to his costly technical foul that aided the Nets late.
Randle hasn’t played at his best this season after signing a four-year, $117 million extension in August. He was an All-Star last season for the first time and helped lead the Knicks to the playoffs, but so far this year he’s averaging 19.4 points per game in comparison to last season’s 24.1 and isn’t hitting nearly as many threes.
On Tuesday night, Randle finished with 24 points, the most that he’s scored in a game in over a week. There’s no denying that he came alive for the Knicks at the Barclays Center, but his heroics weren’t enough to secure the win over Brooklyn.
As soon as the final buzzer sounded, Randle had a few choice words for one of the referees. New York coach Tom Thibodeau had to go and help pull the 27-year-old away from the ref, but not without saying something himself.
Randle complains about officiating after Knicks loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Tell them how you really feel, Randle. He made his feelings known before walking off the court, and then came the expected questions from the media asking about what had happened. Randle continued to call out the officiating, expressing his discontent.
Randle was already fired up when he received that technical foul with 1:36 left to play in the game with the score tied at 105. He went up for a shot and believed that he was fouled, but no whistles were blown. Kevin Durant then went down to the other end of the court, knocked down a jumper, and hit the technical foul free throw to put the Nets up by three.
Brooklyn fans enjoyed that on top of his whining after the game. Keep the tears coming, Knicks fans! It gets better, too. Thibodeau was vocal about his frustrations.
"“I want to watch the film but … something’s not right,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t know [why]. I don’t know. I am watching what is going on both ways. [The Nets] are a good team. They played well. But I know Julius is driving that ball pretty darn hard. And I’m pissed.”"
The two teams won’t meet up again until Feb. 16 at Madison Square Garden, so Randle will have a couple of months to plot his “revenge.” Maybe he and Thibodeau should worry more about finding a way to contain James Harden instead of the officiating.