CLEVELAND — New York Knicks All-Star forward Julius Randle reinjured his left ankle in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s series-clinching victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and did not return.
The injury occurred with 1 minute, 26 seconds remaining in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals when Randle landed awkwardly after going up to contest a shot from Cavs swingman Caris LeVert. After the Cavs collected the rebound and LeVert hit his next shot, Randle stayed on the ground for several moments while holding his ankle.
After Knicks personnel tried to help him off the floor, Randle limped back to the bench under his own power and then went to the locker room to get checked out.
Randle originally injured the ankle in a March 29 win over the Miami Heat and missed the rest of the regular season. He returned for Game 1 of the Cavs series but largely struggled to find rhythm.
He was benched for the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ Game 4 win on Sunday and came into Game 5 a combined 21-for-65 for the series. Thibodeau acknowledged after Game 4 that Randle was still playing through pain in his ankle and was hopeful he would play better in Game 5 after a couple of days of rest.
After starting slow in Game 5, Randle appeared to be rounding into form before his injury, scoring 13 points, dishing out six assists and grabbing four rebounds in 16 minutes.