Knicks seek consistency as pivotal road trip out West looms

Julius Randle cropped 11/13/22
Julius Randle cropped 11/13/22

Julius Randle turned the page from Sunday's 145-135 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder as the Knicks enter a pivotal five-game stretch this week out West.

"We've just got to find our identity consistency," said Randle, who scored 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting while adding 10 rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes. "And this'll be a great road trip to do that."

After Shai Gilgeous-Alexander torched New York (6-7) for a game-high 37 points on 13-of-22 shooting and the Thunder (6-7) went 17-for-31 from long range, the Knicks enter Tuesday's tip-off at the Utah Jazz on a slide.

The Knicks have lost six of their past nine games since they started 3-1 and face a back-to-back that includes Western Conference leader Utah (10-4) and Wednesday's matchup with the 8-4 Denver Nuggets.

Friday's tilt at the defending-champion Golden State Warriors follows, rounded out by Sunday's game against the Phoenix Suns and Monday's rematch with OKC.

"It's about how you respond," said Evan Fournier, who was scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting in 20 minutes off the bench Sunday against the Thunder. "You can head into a long West Coast trip and playing great basketball and play bad during that trip and it's going to kill your momentum, so it's all about how you respond."

The Knicks return home to MSG next Friday, Nov. 25, for a tilt with the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I think we've got a great group of guys who want to do that," Randle said when asked about the Knicks pushing past the rough stretch. "And, like I said, we showed it in flashes. We've just got to consistently put it together. There's nothing like a long road trip of us being around and bonding with each other and really getting to spend time with each other, because all it is is us on the road, so it'll be a great time to find that consistency."