NBA Roundup: Otto Porter Helps Warriors Stun Suns

By Field Level Media
Field Level Media
Field Level Media
December 26, 2021 Updated: December 26, 2021

Otto Porter Jr. saved seven points of his season-high 19 for a personal scoring flurry in the final 2:09 as the short-handed Golden State Warriors stunned the host Phoenix Suns 116–107 in an NBA showcase game on Christmas Day.

Stephen Curry connected on five 3-pointers during a game-high, 33-point performance—his high Christmas game—as the Warriors (27–6) reclaimed the top spot in the Western Conference with a second win in three head-to-head matchups with the Suns (26–6) this season.

Chris Paul led a balanced attack with 21 points and a team-high eight assists for Phoenix, which saw its 15-game home winning streak come to an end.

Getting a rare start with the Warriors missing Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Damion Lee and Moses Moody for COVID reasons, as well as injured Klay Thompson, James Wiseman and Andre Iguodala, Porter hit eight of his 13 shots, including three straight after the Suns had closed within 109–107 on a Jae Crowder 3-pointer with 3:01 to play.

Knicks 101, Hawks 87

Kemba Walker continued his resurgence as the New York point guard posted his first triple-double in almost eight years—and the first one ever by a Knicks player on Christmas Day—as the hosts led wire-to-wire in a win over Atlanta.

Walker, who was a healthy scratch for 10 straight games from Nov. 27 through Dec. 16 before returning to the lineup after the Knicks were ravaged by COVID-19 and injuries, finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in his first triple-double since April 4, 2014.

John Collins and Deion Wright each scored 20 points for the undermanned Hawks, who were missing superstar point guard Trae Young as well as Kevin Huerter, Danilo Gallinari and Onyeka Okongwu due to COVID-19 protocols.

Bucks 117, Celtics 113

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points and 12 rebounds in his return from COVID-19 protocols as Milwaukee rallied from 19 points down to beat visiting Boston.

Antetokounmpo finished 13-of-23 from the field and added five assists in just under 30 minutes after missing five games in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Khris Middleton and Jrue Holliday scored 17 points apiece for Milwaukee, which won its third straight game. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 25 apiece to lead Boston, which lost for the seventh time in 11 ties.

Nets 122, Lakers 115

James Harden collected 36 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds after a two-week absence as Brooklyn survived a furious comeback attempt by host Los Angeles.

Harden missed the previous four games, including the past three in health and safety protocols, and recorded his 63rd career triple-double. It was the Nets’ second straight game without Kevin Durant, who remained in the COVID-19 protocols. Patty Mills tied a career-high with 34 points and hit eight of Brooklyn’s 14 3-pointers.

LeBron James led all scorers with 39 points for the Lakers, and Malik Monk added 20. Russell Westbrook posted a triple-double of 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists while shooting 4 of 20.

Jazz 120, Mavericks 116

Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points to lead Utah to a victory over visiting Dallas in the NBA’s Christmas Day nightcap in Salt Lake City.

Bojan Bogdanovic added 25 points, including four 3-pointers, Mike Conley contributed 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Rudy Gobert tallied 10 points with 11 rebounds as the Jazz won their third straight game.

Kristaps Porzingis, playing after missing two games with a sore right foot, and Jalen Brunson each scored 27 points to help the Mavericks make a game of it despite missing Luka Doncic and a handful of other players due to COVID-19.