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Knicks use big second-quarter run to top Suns

Jan 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) looks to drive past Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig (0) in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle led all players with 28 points and 16 rebounds and Jalen Brunson scored eight of his 24 points during a decisive second-quarter run Monday afternoon for the host New York Knicks, who rolled to a 102-83 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Mitchell Robinson (10 points, 10 rebounds) also had a double-double for the Knicks, who led 23-11 after the first and mounted a 21-0 run in the second. Immanuel Quickley scored 15 points while Quentin Grimes added 12 points as New York earned its second straight win.

Deandre Ayton scored 12 points for the Suns, who have lost three straight and are 5-12 since Dec. 2. Chris Paul scored 11 points while Mikal Bridges, Damion Lee and Duane Washington Jr. finished with 10 points apiece.

Ayton scored the first four points of the game before the Knicks took control with a 14-0 run in which Randle scored six points and the Suns went 0-for-8 from the field with one turnover. Phoenix ended the quarter 5-for-22 from the field.

The Suns got within 11 points three times early in the second before New York mounted the decisive run, which Brunson — who returned Monday after missing three games due to a sore right hip — began with back-to-back 3-pointers. Quickley and Grimes capped the surge with consecutive 3-pointers, which forced Phoenix to use its second timeout of the run.

The Suns were 0-for-6 from the field and 0-for-2 from the free throw line while going scoreless for nearly five minutes. Ayton scored six points in an 11-2 run that pulled Phoenix within 54-31 at the half.

The Knicks maintained a lead of between 21 and 31 points in the third before Phoenix pulled within 83-65 early in the fourth, when Washington converted an old-fashioned three-point play and Paul added two points. Following a Knicks timeout, Randle drained two free throws and Quickley sank a 3-pointer. New York led by at least 21 until Landry Shamet’s 3-pointer provided the game’s final points with 55.3 seconds left.

–Field Level Media