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Christmas Day NBA 2021: Kemba Walker wears a triple-double and gives Knicks his big Christmas present

Christmas Day NBA 2021 Seventh player to achieve this mark on December 25Kemba Walker becomes the spytimo player to triple-double this Christmas. A


Christmas Day NBA 2021 Seventh player to achieve this mark on December 25

Kemba Walker becomes the spytimo player to triple-double this Christmas.
AP

KEmba Walker became the seventh player with a triple-double this Christmas, and The New York Knicks beat the exhausted Atlanta Hawks 101-87 on Saturday for their first vacation win in a decade.

Julius Randle had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks in a matchup of teams that met in the first round of last season’s playoffs. But the Hawks missed Trae Young among the nine players in NBA health and safety protocols, so it wasn’t much of a rematch of Atlanta’s five-game win.

Walker finished with 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot guard ran down the court desperately trying for his 10th rebound for much of the second half., and he finally got it in the fourth quarter when Mitchell Robinson’s block got to him.

It was the first triple-double at Christmas since Golden State’s Draymond Green in 2017, continuing Walker’s strong streak since he went from off the rotation to the starting lineup when the Knicks were short.

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

Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes each scored 15 points for the Knicks, who snapped a six-game Christmas streak. They are 23-31 in their 54 league-highest appearances, but haven’t won one since 2011.

John Collins and Delon Wright each scored 20 points for the Hawks, who were playing Christmas for the first time since 1989. They broke their streak of six consecutive road victories.

Young starred in his first playoff series last spring against New York, ignoring unholy jeers from Knicks fans. and getting the last word when he bowed to them near the end of Atlanta’s victory in Game 5.

But he couldn’t erase the protocols in time to occupy a coveted spot on the Christmas calendar.

“Trae was really excited to have that opportunity to play and unfortunately with the situation he will not be able to do it.” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said before the game. “But we know that l will be supporting, be watching.”

The Knicks made their first seven shots and moved to a 19-3 lead on Randle’s 3-pointer with 7:48 left in the first quarter. The Hawks outscored the Knicks for much of the rest of the half, But Fournier hit two 3-pointers during the Knicks’ 10-point streak, increasing the lead to 61-51 at halftime.

The Knicks opened it with a 14-4 streak in the third that extended a six-point lead to 79-63. The consecutive triples of Grimes and Taj Gibson to open the quarter They gave New York their biggest lead at 87-66 and from there the only drama was if Walker got one more rebound.

The Hawks’ injury report took three tweets from the team’s official account to list them, and in addition to Young, he had key players such as Kevin Huerter, Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari. Clint capela He returned from protocols and had six points and nine rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Knicks are getting healthier. Grimes made his first appearance since setting a Knicks rookie record with seven 3s and scored 27 points against Milwaukee on Dec. 12. Then he was put into protocols and missed the last five games.

Besides Walker and Green, the other players with Christmas triple doubles are Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Oscar Robertson, Billy Cunningham and John Havlicek. Robertson did it four times.

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