Anthony Davis pays major respect to Julius Randle ahead of Lakers game vs. Knicks - Lakers Daily

Anthony Davis pays major respect to Julius Randle ahead of Lakers game vs. Knicks

Anthony Davis and Julius Randle Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the looming matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks on Tuesday night, Anthony Davis has offered high praise for Knicks star Julius Randle.

The two stars played together as members of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Davis and Randle also share the connection of playing for the University of Kentucky, though not at the same time.

The Lakers star is coming off a monster game on Sunday in which he collected 42 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three blocks, but Davis knows that Randle and the Knicks will present a huge challenge.

“They’re playing really well — a hard-playing team,’’ Davis said of the Knicks. “Ju, he’s their rock, head of the snake for that team. That’s probably going to be my matchup. Another Kentucky guy and we played together in New Orleans. That’s my brother over there.”

After missing out on the past two matchups against Randle because of injury, Davis is eager to battle him and a Knicks team that knocked off the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a fun matchup,’’ Davis said of facing Randle and the Knicks. “Last year I didn’t play much [against the Knicks] because I fell and hurt my back. I didn’t really get a chance to really get that [Randle] matchup. They’re fun.

“That team is hot. They came in and beat the Clippers. So they’re rolling. We got to get that game.”

Whether Davis wins his battle against Randle, his bigger concern is simply picking up a victory as the Lakers seek to avoid being relegated to the play-in portion of this year’s postseason.