NBA Christmas 2021: Depleted Warriors see off Suns to regain top spot in NBA | NBA

Stephen Curry had 33 factors, Otto Porter Jr scored seven of his 19 throughout a key late stretch and the Golden State Warriors regained to top spot in the NBA from Phoenix, beating the Suns 116-107 on Saturday.

Golden State arrived in the desert short-handed, lacking three of its top 4 scorers to well being and security protocols: Andrew Wiggins, Damion Lee and Jordan Poole.

Curry carried many of the load, overcoming a mediocre taking pictures night time to crack 20 factors for the primary time in 9 Christmas video games. He completed 10 for 27, together with 5 for 16 from 3 to assist the Warriors finish Phoenix’s 15-game dwelling successful streak.

As a substitute of Curry, it was Porter taking on down the stretch, hitting a step-back three and a pair of jumpers in a span of 1:02.

Chris Paul had 21 factors and eight assists for Phoenix. Deandre Ayton completed with 18 factors in the Suns’ third loss in 28 video games.

The 2 groups with the NBA’s finest data performed in simply the third Christmas sport in which each groups had a successful share of at the least .800.

Taking part in on Christmas is nothing new to the Warriors. This was their ninth straight Christmas Day sport and eleventh in 12 seasons. The Suns, as soon as regulars on the Christmas schedule, have been in their first since 2009.

Each groups placed on an after-the-presents offensive present at Footprint Middle, sending oohs and aahs throughout the Footprint Middle with every dunk and 3-pointer.

Curry had 11 factors in the primary quarter and Gary Payton II a large rebound slam because the Warriors constructed an early 10-point lead. The Suns revved it up in the second quarter, happening a 15-3 run and taking a 62-58 halftime lead on Paul’s last-second three-pointer.

The groups continued to commerce threes and baskets in transition, neither ready to achieve any separation till Golden State went on a brief run to go up 107-99.

The Suns pulled inside two, however Porter hit consecutive jumpers and an extended three to stretch Golden State’s lead to 9.

Atlanta Hawks 87-101 New York Knicks

Kemba Walker grew to become the seventh NBA participant with a triple-double on Christmas, and the New York Knicks beat the depleted Atlanta Hawks 101-87 on Saturday for his or her first win on the vacation in a decade.

Julius Randle had 25 factors and 12 rebounds for the Knicks in a matchup of groups that met in the primary spherical of final season’s playoffs. However the Hawks have been lacking Trae Younger amongst 9 gamers in the NBA’s well being and security protocols, so it wasn’t a lot of a rematch of Atlanta’s five-game victory.

Walker completed with 10 factors, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. The 6ft guard raced across the ground attempting desperately for his tenth rebound for a lot of the second half, lastly getting it in the fourth quarter when Mitchell Robinson’s block got here to him.

Kemba Walker
New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker reacts throughout Saturday’s sport in opposition to the Atlanta Hawks. {Photograph}: Adam Starvation/AP

It was the primary triple-double on Christmas since Golden State’s Draymond Inexperienced in 2017, persevering with Walker’s robust stretch since going from out of the rotation to again in the beginning lineup when the Knicks have been short-handed.

Followers in the sold-out crowd chanted “Kemba Walker! Kemba Walker!” for the New York native, who scored 44 factors in a loss to Washington on Thursday.

Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes every scored 15 factors for the Knicks, who snapped a six-game Christmas skid. They’re 23-31 in their league-high 54 appearances, however hadn’t gained one since 2011.

John Collins and Delon Wright every scored 20 factors for the Hawks, who have been taking part in on Christmas for the primary time since 1989. That they had their six-game street successful streak snapped.

Younger starred in his first playoff sequence final spring in opposition to New York, ignoring profane taunts by Knicks followers and getting the final phrase when he bowed to them close to the shut of Atlanta’s clinching Recreation 5 victory.

However he couldn’t clear protocols in time for a coveted spot on the Christmas calendar.

“Trae was actually excited to have that chance to play and sadly with the scenario gained’t have the ability to try this,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan stated earlier than the sport. “However we all know he’ll be supporting, he’ll be watching.”

The Hawks wanted him to be taking part in.

The Knicks made their first seven pictures and raced to a 19-3 lead on Randle’s three-pointer with 7:48 left in the primary quarter. The Hawks outplayed the Knicks for a lot of the rest of the half however Fournier hit two three-pointers throughout his flurry of 10 straight Knicks factors, growing the lead to 61-51 on the break.

The Knicks blew it open with a 14-4 spurt in the third that prolonged a six-point lead to 79-63. Consecutive three-pointers by Grimes and Taj Gibson to open the fourth gave New York its largest lead at 87-66 and from there the one drama was whether or not Walker would get yet another rebound.

The Hawks’ harm report took three tweets from the staff’s official account to listing, and apart from Younger featured key gamers similar to Kevin Huerter, Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari. Clint Capela returned from protocols and had six factors and 9 rebounds.

In the meantime, the Knicks are getting more healthy. Grimes made his first look since setting a Knicks rookie document with seven three-pointers and scoring 27 factors in opposition to Milwaukee on 12 December. He was then positioned into protocols and missed the final 5 video games.

Boston Celtics 113-117 Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from the NBA’s wholesome and security protocols to rating 36 factors on Saturday, however Wesley Matthews stole the highlight when he knocked down a three-pointer with 30.3 seconds left to give the Milwaukee Bucks their first lead en route to a 117-113 win over the Boston Celtics.

Seeing his first motion since 12 December, Antetokounmpo performed half-hour and linked on 13 of 23 pictures whereas taking pictures 10 for 15 from the free-throw line. Milwaukee additionally bought heart Bobby Portis and guard Donte DiVincenzo again from Covid-19 protocols in time for the televised Christmas showdown.

Boston had simply eight gamers out there after placing Dennis Schroder in the protocols earlier Saturday, however took management behind Jaylen Brown, who scored 14 of his 25 factors in the opening quarter. Jayson Tatum additionally scored 25 for Boston, which led by as many as 19 and went into halftime with a 35-22 benefit.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from the NBA’s wholesome and security protocols to rating 36 factors on Saturday. {Photograph}: Patrick McDermott/Getty Photos

Milwaukee trimmed the deficit to one when Middleton knocked down a 3 with 3:39 left in the third. However the Celtics answered with 5 straight and opened the fourth with a 8-0 run, together with six from Parker, who transformed a three-point play to make it 102-90 with 10:15 to play.

Portis’ put-back with eight minutes left was the beginning of the Bucks’ cost, tying the sport at 111 when Antetokounmpo scored and drew a foul with 1:26 left. He missed the free throw and Brown made a pair on the opposite finish to put Boston again in entrance.

However Matthews buried his three for a 114-113 lead, and the Bucks held on.

Portis completed with 16 factors, whereas DiVincenzo, who hadn’t performed since struggling a left foot harm in the playoffs final season, bought his first and solely factors on a three-pointer late in the third quarter.

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