Julius Randle reveals he took ‘personal’ matchup with Domantas Sabonis
New York Knicks All-Star forward Julius Randle wanted to prove a point when his team went up against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. Their opponents were bannered by another All-Star big man in Domantas Sabonis who got the nod to replace All-Star captain Kevin Durant due to his nagging hamstring injury.
“Sometimes there are just individual matchups that you take — not personal or nothing, like you don’t like the other guy, just personal from a competitive standpoint,” Randle said via New York Daily News. “So it was that.”
On the floor, Randle successfully made a statement as he scored the finishing touches in the game by sinking clutch free throws with 30 seconds left on the clock. He ended up notching a team-high 28 points along with 10 rebounds and six assists. On the other hand, Sabonis finished the game with 15 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists for the Pacers.
More than their individual matchup, Randle’s production also led the Knicks to run away with a 110-107 victory on their home floor. The New York-based squad is currently having a two-game winning streak and has improved to a 17-17 record for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference.
The former Kentucky standout earned the first All-Star selection of his seven-year playing career this season after averaging 23.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists through 34 contests. Meanwhile, Sabonis was selected to his second straight All-Star appearance after recording 21.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists in 32 games this season.
On Saturday night, Julius Randle was able to prove that he was the better All-Star but it is expected that Domantas Sabonis will aim to bounce back in their next encounter. Their upcoming matchups down the road will certainly be exciting to watch moving forward.