Thibodeau, Randle mad after late costly call sinks Knicks

New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau kept it short while Julius Randle spewed fire after their heartbreaking 101-100 overtime loss Sunday night at The Garden to the Philadelphia 76ers.

“They said we didn’t challenge. Two officials. Tough calls. That’s all I’m going to say about it,” Thibodeau said.

Thibodeau was visibly furious after he was denied to challenge the loose ball foul called on Julius Randle that led to Tobias Harris’ game-winning free throws with 5.3 seconds left in the overtime.

Harris redeemed himself from missing two crucial free throws late in the regulation.



The Knicks still had a chance to win, but Randle’s tough jumper rimmed out at the buzzer.

Randle immediately vented his ire on the officials — only two of them as the third referee Dannica Mosher was a late scratch due to health and safety protocols.

“Blown call by the officials. Not enough contact for them to call the play. Nerlens (Noel), clearly he had possession. After all the fouling and everything that was going on for them to call that and decide the game is f—ing ridiculous. It’s ridiculous! They’ve got to do a better job. There are too many games like this,” Randle said in an explosive postgame interview.

The replays, though, showed Randle slightly shoved Harris with his hands caught clinging to the jersey.

It was the Knicks’ second straight tough defeat against the 76ers this week. Harris, a Long Island native, was also the Knicks’ tormentor in their 99-96 loss earlier this week in Philadelphia.

Randle’s costly foul failed to preserve his heroics in the regulation. The Knicks’ All-Star buried a corner three with 6.4 seconds left to force the overtime.

Alec Burks, who flubbed a fastbreak layup in the fourth quarter, engaged Danny Green in a wild shootout in the extra period.

The Knicks appeared to be in control when they opened a four-point lead, 100-96, on Reggie Bullock’s three with 70 seconds left.

But Harris bailed Philadelphia (30-13) out of trouble, scoring his team’s last five points. The narrow win kept the 76ers in the solo top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Mitchell Robinson returned after missing the Knicks’ last 15 games with a fractured hand. He appeared to be fine, collecting four points—including a putback slam— and six rebounds until he rolled his ankle in the second half. The Knicks’ young center played 17 minutes off the bench.

Immanuel Quickley also came back after a one-game absence and started anew with Derrick Rose (health and safety protocols) and Elfrid Payton (hamstring) still out. But Quickley was rusty as he missed his first five shots and the Knicks trailed by double digits early on.

Philadelphia built its largest lead, 43-29, in the second quarter. Then Quickley came alive. The rookie guard nailed two triples in a 13-0 New York run to end the first half only down by one, 43-42.

Burks scored 20 points off the bench, tallying 16 of them in the fourth quarter and overtime. RJ Barrett had 19 and eight boards while Nerlens Noel also stepped up for the Knicks with a season-high 13 points and 10 rebounds.

But all their efforts went down the drain.



The Knicks slipped to 21-22 and will host the lowly Washington Wizards (15-26), losers of eight of their last 10 games, on Tuesday and Thursday at home.

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