The Knicks earned their ninth straight win in a 120-103 victory over the Raptors at Madison Square Garden on Saturday — tying for the franchise’s second-longest streak of the last 25 years.
It’s also New York’s longest streak since the 2012-13 season, when a 13-game streak helped the team to its most recent NBA playoff berth. The 2-seed Knicks beat the 7-seed Celtics in six games in the first round before losing to the 3-seed Pacers in six in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
If the season ended Saturday, New York would earn the No. 4 seed in the East and take on the 5-seed Hawks in the opening round before facing, presumably, the 1-seed Nets in the conference semis.
But with 11 games remaining in the regular season, the Knicks have ample opportunity not only to contend for a higher seed, but also match their longest streak of the last quarter-century (their 13-game win streak in 2013). Following that, the Knicks could then exceed their prior record of 15 wins (set from March 1 through April 2 in 1994) and the franchise record for longest win streak (18 games from Oct. 24 through Nov. 28 in 1969).
Julius Randle has been a massive part of the Knicks’ streak. The seventh-year player and first-time NBA All-Star had 31 points and 10 rebounds Saturday following a 40-point, 11-rebound game against the Hawks on Wednesday. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that makes him the first Knick with consecutive 30-10 games since Carmelo Anthony in 2013. That’s not bad company at all.
Randle has been in double digits in at least one metric among points, rebounds or assists in the Knicks’ last five games:
Randle wasn’t the only Knick to play well Saturday: Second-year player RJ Barrett (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Derrick Rose (29 points) also contributed significantly.
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