Julius Randle shines against nemesis Trae Young, Knicks beat Hawks 113-89

Trae Young’s most recent Broadway show was a flop.

Trying to up his villain status on Wednesday at MSG, Young people wore sneakers in Knicks colors with the following message stitched on the back: “King Of Broadway.”

It was a bold statement, but Young couldn’t back it up against the Knicks, who used Quentin Grimes to frustrate the Hawks’ defender in New York’s dominant 113-89 victory.

Julius Randle was the offensive hero with 34 points and 17 rebounds, but Grimes was a two-way standout and the catalyst for the Knicks’ best two-game stretch of the season (Grimes also blocked Donovan Mitchell in Sunday’s win over the Cavs).

“Yes, I do [like the challenge of guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter player]Grimes said. “I like to make it hard for anyone to score on me, I just look at it as a personal challenge, more like a point of pride. So I feel like I can take on the challenge of whoever it is really.”

With Grimes as a shadow and the Knicks blocking driving lanes, Young produced just 19 points with four turnovers in 30 minutes. He struggled without his two best available teammates due to injuries — Dejounte Murray and John Collins — as the Knicks (12-13) held an opponent to under 90 points for the second straight game.

Grimes not only stifled Young, he outscored the All-Star with 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

The Knicks continued to use a nine-man rotation featuring Derrick Rose and Cam Reddish registration of consecutive DNPs.

It means more time for Grimes and a consistent role for Miles McBride, who logged a game-high 27 minutes Wednesday.

“I take it straight. I am not afraid of any opportunity,” McBride said. “I will attack every challenge as I always have.”

With his new rotation, Tom Thibodeau, who has a reputation for leaning too heavily on veterans, hasn’t played anyone over 28 years old.

The tinker has had resounding success in two games, but the coach isn’t ready to shout “Eureka.”

“I don’t think you ever get it all,” he said.

Young, who took a Broadway Bow at center court at MSG after knocking off the Knicks in the 2021 playoffs, was largely ignored by the Garden crowd.

There were occasional boos, but no chants or insults. MSG has been more subdued and less excited this season as the team searches for its identity.

Besides, Young gave them little reason to hate Wednesday.


Obi Toppin left the game with a sore right knee. Thibodeau said he is considering playing RJ Barrett as the backup power forward if Toppin is out for an extended period.. The Knicks have benefited from Atlanta’s misfortune. Early in the first quarter, Murray sprained his ankle landing on Barrett’s leg. Murray, who torched the Knicks in the previous game at MSG, played just four minutes Wednesday. Barrett was flagged for crowding Murray’s landing space.


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