Julius Randle was in no mood to stick around and talk after the Knicks’ second crushing loss to Philadelphia in less than one week.
The All-Star forward forced overtime with a 3-pointer near the end of regulation, but he was called for what he thought was a “blown call” and a “f—ing ridiculous” loose-ball foul away from the play — leading to go-ahead free throws by Tobias Harris in the closing seconds.
Julius Randle also missed an 18-foot jumper as time expired for an awful 101-100 loss to the Sixers at the Garden, and he stormed away from the podium after answering one question in his postgame Zoom call.
“Blown call by the officials. Not enough contact for them to call the play,” Randle said. “I don’t know who it was — Nerlens [Noel] — but clearly he had possession [of the ball].
“After all the fouling and everything that was going on, for them to call that and decide the game is f—ing ridiculous. They have to do a better job. It’s too many games like this.”
The game was played with two referees because Dannica Mosher was not available due to the league’s health and safety protocols, and both teams complained throughout about the officiating, with both Randle and Thibodeau earning technical fouls earlier in the game.
Julius Randle also had been furious with the officials after he had been called for a travel in the closing seconds of another one-possession loss last Monday in Brooklyn. The NBA ruled the following day that the call was correct.
The All-Star forward scored 24 points and Alec Burks finished with 20, including seven in overtime, but the Knicks fell to 21-22 ahead of two home games Tuesday and Thursday against Washington.
Mitchell Robinson played for the first time since breaking his right hand Feb. 12 against the Wizards, and finished with four points and six rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. He appeared to be limping with a possible ankle injury in the bench area late in the fourth quarter.
Immanuel Quickley also returned after a one-game absence due to an ankle issue, scoring 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting. The messy game, which featured 36 combined turnovers between the two teams, was tied through three quarters.
The Sixers led by 14 points with 3:31 remaining in the second but the Knicks finished the half on a 13-0 run, featuring two 3-pointers from Quickley and a steal and layup by Barrett to close within 43-42 at intermission.
Buckets by Noel (13 points) and RJ Barrett (19) nudged the Knicks ahead in the opening minutes of the third quarter, and they led by as many as six late in the period before the Sixers forged a 64-64 tie entering the final quarter.
Danny Green’s floater gave Philly an 88-85 lead with 19.1 seconds remaining, but his fellow Long Island product, Harris, clanked two free throws a few seconds later. Randle connected for a game-tying 3 from the right corner with 6.4 ticks on the clock to force overtime.
Reggie Bullock’s 3-pointer put the Knicks up 100-96 with 1:10 to play, but Harris (20 points) responded with another make from a long distance. Shake Milton missed a potential go-ahead layup, but Randle was whistled for a loose ball foul as Noel grabbed a rebound, and Harris sank the two free throws with 5.3 seconds to go for a one-point Philadelphia lead.
After the game, referee Courtney Kirkland told a pool reporter that Randle “committed a loose ball foul” and that Thibodeau didn’t signal to challenge the play in the allotted time.
“They said we didn’t challenge — two officials, tough calls. That’s all I’m going to say about it. It’s pretty obvious,” Thibodeau said. “I haven’t watched [the replay] yet. Usually, at the end of the game, there’s going to be — as they would say — marginal contact, incidental contact, every other kind of contact.
“All I know is that we were getting hit a lot and there wasn’t marginal contact on that.”