Referees ruin Julius Randle’s epic 57-point performance in Knicks’ loss to Wolves

Following the New York Knicks‘ thrilling victory against the Nikola Jokic led Denver Nuggets on Saturday, New York came out firing on all cylinders against the Timberwolves on Monday night but were unable to get the job done, falling 140-134.

This is the Knicks’ first loss since their three-game losing streak a couple of weeks ago, and while it may not have had a huge effect on where they stand in the Eastern Conference, it’s a game they should have won.

Why? Julius Randle had a historic offensive night, scoring 57 points, being the first Knicks’ player to drop 50+ since Carmelo Anthony’s record-breaking 62-point game against the Bobcats.

Julius Randle puts on a historic display against the Timberwolves, showing why he should be a lock for an All-NBA team

Randle shot 19-of-29 from the field, 8-of-14 from three, and 11-of-13 from the free throw line. It was his 22nd game in which he has scored 30+ points and the fifth game where he’s scored 40+. He also set a new career high with points scored in a single game (his previous being 46 points which he also scored this season).

On the season, Randle is averaging 25.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 45.7% from the field and 34.1% from beyond the arc on 8.3 attempts. If these aren’t All-NBA numbers, then we don’t know what are.

OK, now for the deflating news.

Despite this masterclass from Randle, the Knicks weren’t able to get the job done due, in most part, to horrific officiating down the stretch and, as we all expected, a 33-point game from Taurean Prince that included the game-sealing layup. Classic.

The refs really blew it towards the end when they made many crucial mistakes, including a “successful challenge” on a blatant foul that involved Immanuel Quickley being tripped. Alongside this, Jaden McDaniels had an incredibly obvious push-off on a mid-range jumper with 22 seconds left, but the whistle wasn’t blown.

While the Knicks should have gotten the rebound after McDaniels’ miss, the foul should have simply been called due to how obvious it was. Nobody likes blaming referees for a loss, however, those two calls were what determined the outcome of this game, which is unacceptable.

Can’t wait to see the Last 2 Minute report for this one! And they better get it right because some of these calls ruined an all-time performance.