NEW YORK — The Knicks handled their business again. Now they wait.
The dream of a fourth seed is still alive after New York toppled Charlotte in overtime on Saturday afternoon, 118-109, as Julius Randle recorded a spectacular triple-double (33 points, 13 assists and 10 boards) and left the arena to ‘MVP’ chants.
The Knicks (40-31) have won 15 of their last 19 games but still need help to avoid the sixth seed. If the Heat lose to the Bucks on Saturday or the Pistons on Sunday, it opens the door for New York to host the Hawks in the first round as the fourth seed. If not, the Knicks are likely headed to Milwaukee as the sixth seed.
Randle has been the catalyst and that continued against Charlotte, a team fighting for the eighth seed. Still, New York was fortunate. It went scoreless for the final 4 1/2 minutes of regulation but managed to avoid defeat because Charlotte also went cold, with the visitors managing just three points in the last six minutes. Devonte’ Graham potential game-winning 3-pointer was way off at the end of the fourth quarter.
New York came alive in OT, with Randle setting the tone. The Hornets (33-38) just continued their funk. Counting overtime, the visitors totaled eight points in the final 11 minutes.