Julius Randle thrives for Knicks despite dealing with sore knee

Julius Randle thrives for Knicks despite dealing with sore knee

TORONTO — Julius Randle not only kept his playing streak alive Friday, but he thrived after making his first appearance on the injury report. 

Randle was listed as “questionable” with knee soreness, an ailment not previously disclosed but certainly worth monitoring.

He still logged 35 minutes with 20 points, nine assists and 10 rebounds in a 119-106 win over the Raptors — one night after he played 38 minutes against Detroit. 

“You almost come to expect that from him. If he can go, he’s going,” Tom Thibodeau said. “And I love that about him. He wanted to get out there, and he warmed up early to see how he would feel. And then he got with the medical people. But Julius, he gives you what he has. He doesn’t take days off.” 

Randle, 29, the oldest player in the Knicks’ rotation, is famously committed to availability.

Julius Randle scored 20 points for the Knicks on Friday night.
Julius Randle scored 20 points in the Knicks’ 119-106 win over the Raptors. NBAE via Getty Images

As The Post reported, the Knicks attempted to get the power forward to rest earlier this season as he dealt with ankle pain.

But he resisted. 

Randle is among the league leaders in minutes since joining the Knicks. 

“[I’ll play] all the time. You all should know that by now,” Randle said. “I think it’s more we just love to play. It’s not really about load management. We just love to play basketball. Me personally, I love to play basketball, so if I can play I’m going to play.” 

Randle has played every game this season.

Julius Randle
Julius Randle continued his streak of hot play in the Knicks’ win. NBAE via Getty Images

He appeared in 77 straight to start last season before suffering a severe ankle sprain and underwent surgery in the summer. 

Randle also entered Friday on a hot streak while averaging 27.3 points and 11.7 boards on 52.6 percent shooting in his three previous games. 

“After my first two weeks or two-and-a-half weeks, when I was just trying to find my body and rhythm and that kind stuff, it’s definitely coming back to me,” Randle said. “It just gives me a level of patience, assuredness and confidence that just being patient with the game and let the game happen.” 

The Knicks finished their fifth back-to-back set Friday.

But Thibodeau doesn’t believe the schedule is relenting anytime soon. 

“We’re the kings of the back-to-back, by the way. This has to be an all-time record,” the coach said, adding, “We’re going to be ready to play, no matter when it is, where it is. Early start, late start. We’re probably the king of home back-to-backs, too. I think we got it all covered. Who knows how this all unfolds with the In-Season Tournament [schedule].

“And then we got a pretty heavy schedule through January. And then we have a heavy schedule through January. And March. Then April is special.”

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