Knicks trounce Pelicans for 5th straight win

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks

The New York Knicks did not feel any ill effects of playing on the second night of a back-to-back set. Instead of feeling tired after their 19-point comeback in Washington barely 24 hours ago, they had more pep in their step.

The Knicks continued their ascent with a wire-to-wire 128-106 win over the slumping New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.

Perhaps inspired by the presence of the 1973 Knicks championship team, who were honored at halftime for the 50th anniversary of their title run, the present Knicks dominated the Pelicans right off the bat in front of a soldout Garden crowd.

Julius Randle had another sizzling start with 16 points in the opening quarter. They built a 42-26 advantage that swelled to 35 points and were never seriously threatened.

Randle finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists. RJ Barrett added 25 on an 8 of 13 shooting night, his most efficient performance since their Dec. 23 loss in Chicago where he shot 70 percent.

Jalen Brunson completed the Knicks Mid 3 rousing performance with 22 points and five assists.

Starting center Mitchell Robinson had his second straight double-double (11 points and 13 rebounds) since returning from a fractured thumb.

Quentin Grimes was the only starter who did not finish in double figures with nine points, but he was plus-20 in 21 minutes.

Josh Hart led New York’s second unit with 15 and remained unbeaten since his arrival at the trade deadline.

The Knicks (35-27) are now a season-high eight games above .500 and pulled half game back from the fifth seed Brooklyn Nets (34-25).

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