Knicks snap losing skid with big win over Kings hours after devastating Julius Randle injury news

As if the realization that Julius Randle will not be making it back in time for the playoffs didn’t cast enough of a pall over the Knicks’ home arena, and another uninspired start Thursday night certainly made for a restless crowd in the early going at the Garden.

But the Knicks typically fought back into the game, overcoming a 21-point first-half deficit and using a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to halt their three-game losing streak with a super-important 120-109 comeback win over the Kings.

“For us as a team, we started very slow and picked it up,” Jalen Brunson said. “Definitely the morale is a little low when one of your guys goes down and he’s fighting to come back, and [he’s] just unable to be where he wants to be.

Donte DiVincenzo scored 21 points in the Knicks’ 120-109 win over the Kings. Charles Wenzelberg

“So it’s definitely sad. He’s our brother, but it just is what it is at this point, and you gotta move forward.”

Brunson scored 35 points with 11 assists amid his latest batch of MVP chants, and Josh Hart continued his strong play since Randle left the lineup in late January, recording a season-high 31 points with nine rebounds and eight assists in 43 minutes.

Donte DiVincenzo contributed 21 points with five more 3-pointers for the Knicks, who improved to 16-14 in 30 games with Randle sidelined.

They remain in the No.5 playoff position in the Eastern Conference — with the same overall record as the Magic (45-31) — with six games remaining beginning Friday night in Chicago.

“Obviously, when he’s potentially coming back, you’re still handling business how you’re handling business. But you just have it in the back of your mind that you might get this guy back,” Hart said of Randle. “But I think we were really progressing that we were not gonna have him. And that is the mindset that you have to have.”

Following the official news that Randle will undergo season-ending surgery on his dislocated right shoulder, Hart and midseason-acquisition Precious Achiuwa will continue to get the bulk of the minutes at the power forward spot heading into the postseason.

Jalen Brunson dunks for two of his 35 points in the Knicks’ win against the Kings. Charles Wenzelberg

Hart remained in the lineup Thursday after being listed as questionable for the game with a wrist injury.

“The next guy get in here, get the job done,” Thibodeau said beforehand. “I’ve said this to you guys from the start: We’re not replacing Julius individually. We’re doing it collectively. And that’s one thing that this team has responded extremely well to.”

DiVincenzo had said after the Knicks fell behind by double digits early in Tuesday’s loss in Miami that they needed to come out with “urgency from the start,” but they spotted the Kings a 23-11 advantage in the first eight minutes.

Miles McBride (12 points) missed all four 3-point tries and all six field-goal attempts as the Knicks trailed 35-20 through one quarter, with De’Aaron Fox netting 11 of his team-high 29 for Sacramento.

That deficit was extended to 21 on Fox’s 3-pointer barely three minutes into the second.

Still, Brunson finished the half with 18 points, including a 3-pointer in the closing seconds, but the Kings led 60-52 at intermission.

Keegan Murray’s 3-pointer pushed the Sacramento lead back to 14 early in the third, but DiVincenzo drained two in a row from beyond the arc before a Hart breakaway dunk off a Brunson steal closed the gap to three.

The Kings netted the next five points, but the Knicks fought back again, and the crowd erupted when DiVincenzo’s fifth 3-pointer tied the score at 84 with barely one minute remaining.

He then sank three straight free throws for the Knicks’ first lead since the opening minutes, but Fox’s 3-ball with 10 seconds to go pulled the Kings back even at 87-87 entering the final quarter.

Jalen Brunson drives past Keon Ellis during the Knicks’ win. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Bojan Bogdanovic dropped in five of his 12 points to start the fourth, and Hart’s driving and-1 put the Knicks up by five with 7:53 left.

That was part of a 13-0 Knicks surge that was capped by the crowd erupting on Brunson’s left-side 3-pointer for a 105-95 lead at the midway mark of the quarter.

“We started the game slowly and missed some open shots, and they were very aggressive,” Thibodeau said. “But the thing that I liked is I thought that even though we were behind … I thought we were making the right plays, and the guys played very unselfishly.

“It was a big hole to climb out of, but we found a way to win.”