Knicks’ All-Star Julius Randle leaves game with sprained ankle as New York readies for playoffs


The New York Knicks are holding their breath at the worst possible time.

All-Star forward Julius Randle left their game Wednesday against the Miami Heat in the first half with an ankle injury.

The team called it a sprain. He shot two free throws after the injury and tried to stay in but left the floor with a trainer and did not return.

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Julius Randle of the New York Knicks on the floor after getting injured during the second quarter of a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden March 29, 2023, in New York City.  (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

The Knicks have lost six of their last 10, but they should comfortably make the playoffs.

Their 43-33 record is good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference, and they are three games ahead of the play-in tournament with five to go after Wednesday night.

They are lined up for a tough matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who swooped in and took New York’s top trade target in Donovan Mitchell over the summer. Without Randle, the Knicks could be in trouble.

Julius Randle (30) of the New York Knicks walks after getting injured during the second quarter of a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden March 29, 2023, in New York City. 

Julius Randle (30) of the New York Knicks walks after getting injured during the second quarter of a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden March 29, 2023, in New York City.  (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

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Randle has gotten a bad rep the last couple of weeks with outbursts against referees and teammates. It was a constant criticism of him last season after he took a step back from a Most Improved Player campaign in 2020-21 that saw him make his first All-Star team and help the Knicks to their first playoff berth since 2012-13.

But Randle’s 25.4 points and 10 rebounds per game and his 34.4% shooting on 3-pointers led the team entering Wednesday. 

Julius Randleof the New York Knicks after getting injured during the second quarter of a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden March 29, 2023, in New York City. 

Julius Randleof the New York Knicks after getting injured during the second quarter of a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden March 29, 2023, in New York City.  (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

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The Knicks play the Cavs in Cleveland Friday. Randle has not missed a game all season, and he leads the team at 35.8 minutes per game. He has played the second-most minutes in the NBA this season — 2,723 entering Wednesday.



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