New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett pushes through defenders Orlando Magic...

New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett pushes through defenders Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero, right, and guard Markelle Fultz, left, on Thursday. Credit: AP/Kevin Kolczynski

ORLANDO, Fla. — When the goal is a playoff run, frustration is not what a team wants to be feeling as the season winds down. But that is exactly where the Knicks find themselves right now.

Jalen Brunson sat out Thursday night’s 111-106 loss to the Magic with what the team called a sprained right hand. The Knicks provided vague details on what happened or when he might be back in the lineup. Brunson was spotted with a hard plastic brace over his hand after the game.

In the meantime, Julius Randle was imploding, not only hit with a technical foul for the third straight game but feuding with teammates trying to guide him away from the officials and then not speaking after the game, even after the Knicks kept the locker room shut for 40 minutes.

If you need a reminder, those are the two most important players on a team sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference by 1 1⁄2 games with seven games remaining and having lost three straight. Not exactly sailing toward the playoffs on a high note.

“We’re frustrated,” RJ Barrett said. “We’re trying to win. Every game really matters at this point. We’re fighting for our lives. It’s definitely upsetting when you lose, but you’ve got to understand that it does happen and we’ve just got to make sure we fix it sooner rather than later.”

That’s an important take. The Knicks (42-33) are barely ahead of sixth-place Miami (40-34) and will face the Heat at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. If Miami beats the Knicks, the head-to-head record between the teams will be 2-2. However, the Heat likely would win the second tiebreaker as a division winner (they are 3 1⁄2 games ahead in the Southeast Division). Falling to sixth would mean the Knicks likely would face the 76ers in the first round.

“It’s just right now our team just, we’re out of sorts,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And so you have to pull together when you go through rough times. You get into things together, you get out of things together. So it’s just we have to do it, do everything a lot better. And we have to be committed to doing it as a team. There’s going to be ups and downs that we have to navigate. Everyone does. And we can’t lose sight of what we’re trying to accomplish.”

If Brunson is forced to miss significant time, it might not matter how they come together mentally or emotionally. The Knicks are 5-5 in games without Brunson this season — 5-6 if you include the loss at Sacramento when he tried to go but sat out the second half with lingering left foot soreness.

Without Brunson, Randle has had to do more, and in this recent stretch, it hasn’t gone well. He blew up at officials when the Knicks faced the Clippers recently and had words with teammate Evan Fournier and a team security guard when they tried to keep him from advancing on the officials. On Thursday in Orlando, he went nose-to-nose with Immanuel Quickley when Quickley tried to keep him away from official Leon Wood.

“Everybody’s trying to win. Heat of the moment,” Quickley said. “That’s basically what it is. We all want to win. That’s all I can really say. Sometimes that happens. It’s part of sports, part of what it takes to be a professional athlete.”

The Knicks have three days off before hosting Houston (18-55 entering Friday) on Monday night, a chance to get right before facing Miami.

“Got to go back to the drawing board, watch the film, get better and try to get a win against Houston,” Quickley said. “That’s all we can really focus on right now.”

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