'Shame to waste that performance' - Knicks rue loss as Randle makes franchise history in 57-point haul
New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau says it was a "shame to waste" Julius Randle's 57-point performance in Monday's 140-134 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Randle produced a career-best scoring performance, shooting 19-of-29 from the field with eight-of-14 from three-point range, becoming the 13th different player this NBA season to surpass 50 points.
The power forward scored 26 points in the third quarter, making franchise history for the most points ever by a Knicks player in any single quarter.
Randle also became the first player Knicks since Carmelo Anthony in 2014 to reach 50 points, which was the longest active drought by any franchise, except the Orlando Magic dating back to Tracy McGrady in 2004.
Only two players have scored more points in a single game in Knicks history, led by Anthony with 62 in 2014 against the Charlotte Bobcats and Bernard King with 60 in 1984 against the New Jersey Nets. Randle's 57 points was tied for third highest in Knicks history.
Despite all that, the Timberwolves edged the Knicks, aided by 58.3 per cent three-point shooting.
"It's a shame to waste a performance like that," Thibodeau told reporters.
Randle had 52 points at three-quarter time and was on pace to surpass both Anthony and King's marks but he was humbled to be close to their company.
"Those are legends in this game," Randle said. "And pioneers, specifically for this organisation, who laid the groundwork and led the way for players like myself to come behind them, be able to play the game I love. Be able to grind, put on that Knicks jersey with pride."
Randle was left to lament fumbling a rebound at 137-134 in the dying seconds, allowing Taurean Prince to make a lay-up to ice the game.
"Hopefully I will be able to [enjoy the 57-point performance]," Randle said. "But tonight, probably not.
"Jalen [Brunson] got a defensive stop, we're down three, it's my job to come up with that rebound, 14 seconds left. If we do that, we have a chance to win the game - or not win the game, but at least tie the game, so I didn't get the job done."