Julius Randle caps Knicks’ best stretch with Player of the Week honors

Four monster games. Four wins.

Julius Randle capped off the best week of his career and the New York Knicks‘ best stretch since 2014 with his first NBA Player of the Week award.

Randle became the first Knicks player since Kristaps Porzingis in November 2017 to be named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

The first-time All-Star averaged 35.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.0 steals with an efficient 48/45/84 shooting splits during the past week. The Knicks won all their four games, part of a six-game winning streak currently tied with the Boston Celtics for the hottest in the league.

In what became a “revenge tour” for Randle, he started the week by dropping 34 points, and 10 rebounds against the team that originally drafted him, the Los Angeles Lakers, in a resounding 111-96 Knicks win.

Two nights later, Randle beat his other former team, New Orleans Pelicans. He outdueled Zion Williamson coming away with 32 points, eight boards, and five assists in a 116-106 victory.

Last Friday night, Randle went back home to Dallas and outplayed Luka Doncic and Porzingis, the former Knicks franchise player before him. Randle tied his season-high 44 points on 16-of-29 shooting and a near triple-double (10 rebounds and seven assists). The Knicks won, 117-109.

Randle became the first Knicks player since Carmelo Anthony in 2013-14 to have recorded multiple 40-point games in a single season. His historic night didn’t end there as he also became the first Knicks player with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in a single game since Bernard King did it on March 22, 1985, in a win against the Pacers.

In yesterday’s rematch against Williamson and the Pelicans, Randle bucked a scoreless first quarter to finish with 33 points, 10 assists, five boards, and five steals to become the first Knicks player to have recorded at least 30 points, 10 assists, and five steals since Nate Robinson in 2009. The Knicks repeated over the Pelicans, 122-112, in overtime thanks to Derrick Rose and Reggie Bullocks’ late-game heroics.

Stephen Curry joined Randle for the best player of the week’s honors as the Golden State sharpshooter got the nod in the West after steering the Warriors to a 3-1 record while averaging 43.8 points.

Randle bested Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Atlanta’s Clint Capela, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Charlotte’s Terry Rozier, and Washington’s Russell Westbrook in the East.

Meanwhile, Curry beat Phoenix’s DeAndre Ayton, Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, and Denver’s Nikola Jokic in the West.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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