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New York Knicks' Julius Randle wins NBA's Most Improved Player award

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (R), shown Nov. 16, 2019, became the first Knicks player to win the award. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (R), shown Nov. 16, 2019, became the first Knicks player to win the award. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 25 (UPI) -- New York Knicks forward Julius Randle was named the recipient of the NBA's Most Improved Player award Tuesday night.

Randle became the first Knicks player to earn the honor since its inception in 1985. He edged Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets' Michael Porter Jr. for the award.

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The 2021 All-Star selection averaged career highs in points (24.1), rebounds (10.2), assists (six), 3-point percentage (41.1%) and free-throw percentage (81.1%) this season.

He joined the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets as the only players this season to lead their teams in points, rebounds and assists per game.

Randle also was the second player in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists per game while also shooting 40% from 3-point range, joining Hall of Famer Larry Bird who did so in the 1984-85 season.

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Under Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, the 26-year-old Randle played a league-best 2,667 minutes (37.6 per game) and played in 71 of a possible 72 games.

NBA Most Improved Player voting results:

1. Julius Randle (New York Knicks) - 493 points

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2. Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons) - 140 points

3. Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets) - 138 points

4. Christian Wood (Houston Rockets) - 44 points

5. Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls) - 20 points

6. Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics) - 10 points

7. Chris Boucher (Toronto Raptors) - 10 points

8. Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns) - 8 points

9. Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) - 6 points

10. Nikola Vucevic (Chicago Bulls) - 3 points

11. Clint Capela (Atlanta Hawks) - 3 points

12. Jordan Poole (Golden State Warriors) - 3 points

13. Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz) - 3 points

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14. Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder) - 3 points

15. Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers) - 3 points

16. Kyle Anderson (Memphis Grizzlies) - 2 points

17. R.J. Barrett (New York Knicks) - 2 points

18. Miles Bridges (Charlotte Hornets) - 2 points

19. Lonzo Ball (New Orleans Pelicans) - 1 point

20. T.J. McConnell (Indiana Pacers) - 1 point

21. Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors) - 1 point

22. Richaun Holmes (Sacramento Kings) - 1 point

23. Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz) - 1 point

24. Terry Rozier (Charlotte Hornets) - 1 point

25. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder) - 1 point

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