New York Knicks' RJ Barrett, center, goes up for a...

New York Knicks' RJ Barrett, center, goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers' James Harden, left, and Shake Milton during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Credit: Jim McIsaac

On the court, Julius Randle performed from start to finish Sunday afternoon, helping the Knicks to a much-needed victory. And after seven straight games of not being available to the media, he finally appeared and spoke — although more in line with the playing time of an end-of-the-bench piece.

The Knicks did enough on the floor to earn a 110-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden on an afternoon in which there was none of the boos and vitriol from the crowd that began Randle’s strange odyssey. And afterward, he did enough to put an end to the fines and mystery.

On the court, what certainly matters most to the Knicks — who toss off $25,000 fine money the way you’d hand a quarter to someone on the corner — Randle played a solid 40 minutes. Afterward, he gave four minutes to the media and was given an escape route.

The Knicks finally made Randle available after being fined by the NBA but also cut the session off quickly when it got to the subject of the fines and his reasons for his unhappiness.

"Just the team didn’t make me available," Randle said when asked why he had not spoken after a game since Jan. 6.

Asked for his reaction to the fine for not speaking, which was assessed to the team and was paid by Garden chairman James Dolan after an NBA inquiry indicated that it was the organization that was silencing him, Randle added, "Honestly, I appreciate Mr. Dolan. He’s great. But the reaction was the team didn’t make me available. All I can do is my job as a player, and the team didn’t make me available. And that’s it."

Randle’s silence after feuding with the Garden fans stretched to seven games before Sunday. But a friendly family crowd filled the Garden for this Sunday afternoon game and there were only alternating chants of "M-V-P" for Randle and RJ Barrett.

Barrett led the Knicks (23-24) with 28 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Randle put forth an energetic 24-point, nine-rebound, five-assist performance.

"It’s easy to get distracted in this league," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "You can get mired in a personal dilemma and you start looking backward. Well, if you’re looking backward, you can’t look ahead. You can’t look at the things that are in front of you. Then it carries on and snowballs."

It may not have felt like it, and maybe the Knicks wouldn’t admit to it, but it was a desperate time at the Garden. In need of a win, in need of a solid performance from their stars, the Knicks took the lead for good 43 seconds into the game on Randle’s three-pointer and drew a late ovation from the crowd.

More than anything, the Knicks just needed a win after three straight losses, all at the Garden. They now head to Cleveland for the second game of a back-to-back set before the trip continues to Miami and Milwaukee. After returning home for Sacramento and Memphis, the Knicks will depart on a five-game West Coast trip.

The Knicks hit seven of their first eight three-point attempts in scoring 39 points in the first quarter. They scored 48 points in the first 14:16, shooting 9-for-12 from outside the arc in that span.

It wasn’t all good news for the Knicks, though. In the third quarter, Mitchell Robinson got tangled up with the Clippers’ Luke Kennard, turning his left ankle and suffering a sprain. He hobbled to the locker room and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

This was the third stop in an eight-game road trip for the Clippers, who took the court at 10 a.m. on their home time zone, and despite playing with a lineup that is without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, they hung in with the Knicks just as they had in previous stops in Denver and Philadelphia.

Reggie Jackson had 26 points and five assists for the Clippers (23-25). Ivica Zubac added 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots.