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Third-straight win gives Knicks fans faint hope of making a late-season run

NBA: New York Knicks at Dallas Mavericks
Knicks forward Julius Randle drives as Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith defends.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks extended their win streak to 3 games with a blowout victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. 

Julius Randle led the team with 26 points and 8 rebounds in the 107-77 road win, and the veteran power forward credited the team’s defensive play for the win. 

“We didn’t shoot that well from three,” Randle said. “But it was probably our best defensive performance of the year.” 

The Mavericks’ 77 points represented the second-lowest point total of the season, behind only a 75-point performance on Oct. 29 against the Denver Nuggets. 

Knicks rookie RJ Barrett extended his recent streak of stellar play, adding 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. 

[READ ALSO: Despite team’s struggles, Knicks young core continues to blossom]

Meanwhile, starting center Mitchell Robinson continued to anchor the team’s defense, securing 11 rebounds, while adding 2 steals and three blocked shots. Head coach Tom Thibodeau praised the 23-year-old defensive acumen as a versatile big-man who can run out toward the three-point line and contest shots. 

“Mitch has great feet and great length. His positioning is improving, and so there’s extra possessions that he’s giving us,” Thibodeau said after the game. “Particularly when a team downsizes and they have a lot of shooting on the floor — let them make [shots] over Mitch. He’s real long, and his positioning has vastly improved over a year ago.”

The team held most of the Maverick’s roster to low point totals, though young phenom Luka Dončić took over Dallas’ offense with 31 points. Still, the Knicks remain the only NBA team that the Slovenian has yet to beat on his home court. 

The team from Madison Square Garden has now handedly won three games in a row, after a 116-93 win against the Clippers on March 6, and a 131-115 victory over the Sacramento Kings on March 7. 

Despite their recent success, however, the team remains out of playoff contention with a 28-38 record, placing them 3.5 games behind the 10th seeded Atlanta Hawks. 

The team will continue their 7-game road trip on Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies, before returning to the Five Boroughs to play the Nets at Barclays Center on March 13. 

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