NBA Christmas Game Recaps
NBA Christmas games are the better version of NFL Thanksgiving games. One is the same old rehash of faded rivalries. The other features the most exciting players in the league.
In the first game, the Milwaukee Bucks took on the New York Knicks. Bucks fans watched Giannis Antetokounmpo light up Madison Square Garden, scoring 30 and grabbing 14 boards. Knicks fans also couldn’t complain when Kevin Knox, their newest draft pick, added 21 points and midseason pickup Noah Vonleh, the most interesting night-to-night statline in the league, grabbed 15 rebounds, scored 14 points, and had no assists.
Out in Houston, the Rockets won a close game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden carried the team, scoring 37 points through the first three quarters, as his sidekick, Chris Paul, sat out. Despite his absence, OKC’s big three of Steven Adams, Russell Westbrook, and Paul George couldn’t secure a win.
The 76ers and the Boston Celtics looked to be a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview. Joel Embiid’s 34 points weren’t enough to top Kyrie Irving, his 40 points, and Boston’s incredibly deep bench in a seven-point overtime loss.
Out in California, LeBron James and the Lakers took on the Golden State Warriors in a game that probably had ESPN exec’s foaming at the mouth. The only problem? LeBron left early with a groin injury and the Warrior’s four all-stars scored a combined 45. Kevin Durant added 21, Steph Curry scored 15, and Draymond Green and Klay Thompson added 4 and 5 each. Despite their star player’s absence, the Lakers would win resoundingly, 127-101.
In the final game of the night, the Portland Trail Blazers lost 117-96 to the Utah Jazz. Dame Lillard couldn’t pull out a win against the slumping Jazz. Donovan Mitchell’s hero ball efforts seem to be taking Utah’s season but tonight it got him 19 points. Somehow, Utah scored 117 and not a single player scored over 20 points.