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

the New York Knicks They hold their breath at the worst possible time.

All-star striker Julius Randel They left Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat in the first half with an ankle injury.

The team called it a twist. He shot two free throws after the injury and tried to stay, but left the floor with a coach and never returned.

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Julius Randle of the New York Knicks lies on the floor after being hit during the second quarter of the game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2023, in New York City.

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

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

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

They are ready for a tough match against Cleveland Cavaliers, who swooped in and took New York’s biggest trading 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 being hit during the second quarter of the 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 being hit during the second quarter of the 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 had a bad rep in the last two weeks due to outbursts against the referees and teammates. It was a constant criticism of him last season after he backed out of a 2020-21 MVP campaign that saw him make his first All-Star team and helped the Knicks reach their first playoff appearance since 2012-13.

But Randel’s 25.4 points and 10 rebounds per game and 34.4% shooting on 3-pointers led the team into Wednesday’s entry.

Julius Randolof of the New York Knicks after being injured during the second quarter of their game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2023, in New York City.

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

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Nix play Cleveland in Cleveland Friday. Randle has not missed a game all season, and leads the team with an average of 35.8 minutes per game. He’s played the second most minutes in the NBA this season — he clocked in at 2,723 on Wednesday.

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