Hawks vs. Knicks: Play-by-play, highlights and reactions


The Atlanta Hawks (15-16) play against the New York Knicks (18-18) at Madison Square Garden

Game Time: 12:00 PM EST on Saturday December 25, 2021

Atlanta Hawks 36, New York Knicks 41 (Q2 06:53)

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Five-point game after the Hawks got down 16 early.
Delon Wright has been key, leading the Hawks with 11 points and two steals, with two rebounds, in 11 minutes. – 12:48 PM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
MERRY CHRISTMAS OBI TOPPIN 🌲 pic.twitter.com/BcETm45kKS12:48 PM

Amin Elhassan @DarthAmin
Why would you ever bite on an Obi Toppin pump fake from three? – 12:48 PM
Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband
Feb. 9, 2008: Lincoln vs. Rice (Lance Stephenson vs. Kemba Walker)
Almost 14 years later, they’re still doing it today at Madison Square Garden. pic.twitter.com/AYyR6n8BDl12:48 PM

Barbara Barker @meanbarb
From the glass is half full, holiday edition: While spending Xmas day on a three hour delta delay in Detroit is not ideal, I’m with my family, we scored passes to the lounge and the Knicks game is on. pic.twitter.com/mr4WmPjqeN12:48 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
A week ago I was landing in Las Vegas in anticipation of watching Lance Stephenson duel with the G League Ignite.
Here Lance is on Christmas dueling with Kemba Walker at Madison Square Garden. One of today’s upbeat NBA stories. – 12:46 PM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
OBI WITH THE REVERSE – 12:45 PM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
Nothin’ like Christmas Day at @TheGarden. pic.twitter.com/uMH61SnuyA12:43 PM

Ian Begley @IanBegley
Four NYC players – Kemba Walker, Lance Stephenson, Taj Gibson, Obi Toppin – are on the court right now at MSG for Knicks-Hawks on Christmas Day. The late Tom Konchalski would be proud. – 12:41 PM
Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Skylar Mays needs to be a part of the rotation even when everyone is healthy. – 12:40 PM
Ian Begley @IanBegley
Lance Stephenson checks in late in the first quarter at MSG on Christmas Day. Nice moment for Stephenson and those who’ve supported him. Stephenson, a Coney Island native, led Lincoln to four straight PSAL title-game wins on the Garden floor. ATL signed him via hardship exception – 12:39 PM
Marc Berman @NYPost_Berman
Atlanta Hawks replacement signee Lance Stephenson gives big hug to Kemba Walker as he checks in. Then Lance drains jumper. – 12:39 PM
Vivek Jacob @vivekmjacob
Not a fan of charge attempts like the one Dieng tried end of Q. You’re shying away from absorbing the full hit so you’re definitely not getting the call and the half hearted contact only increases injury potential for the offensive player. – 12:38 PM
Atlanta Hawks PR @HawksPR
Hawks guard Delon Wright tallied 8 points in the first quarter – his highest scoring quarter of the season. It’s the 10th time Wright has scored 8+ in a first quarter in his career and first time since 2/17/21. – 12:38 PM
Fred Katz @FredKatz
Through one quarter, the Knicks lead the Hawks 30-21.
• Radle 9 & 6
• Grimes 6 pts, 2-4 3Ps
• Barrett 5-3-2
• Walker 5-4-3
• Wright 8 & 2
Knicks shot 7-for-14 from 3 in the first quarter. – 12:36 PM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
After the first quarter: Knicks 30, Hawks 21
Deficit reached 16 but they whittled it down a bit. – 12:36 PM
Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Hawks down 30-21 to the Knicks at the end of the first quarter.
Wright: 8 points (3/6 FG), 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Bogdanovic: 5 points, 2 assists
Hawks shot 24 percent from the floor, Knicks shot 55 percent – 12:36 PM
Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
Knicks ride their 7-for-7 start to a 19-3 lead and are ahead of the Hawks 30-21 after one quarter. – 12:35 PM
Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
Bogdan Bogdanovic just absorbed a flagrant foul after landing post-jump shot on a foot that undercut the right ankle that has been an issue for him all season. – 12:34 PM
Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Bogdan Bogdanovic rolled his right foot on that Quentin Grimes foul.
That’s the same foot that caused Bogdanovic to miss a few weeks due to a sprained ankle.
Grimes was called for a flagrant-1 on the play – 12:33 PM
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Good to see Bogdanovic seems to be ok. Last thing the Hawks needed is for another guy to go down. Especially when Bogdanovic just got back himself. – 12:32 PM
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
Quentin Grimes, who has returned from the health and safety protocols along with RJ Barrett today, buries a 3-pointer. The rookie has a nice shooting stroke, and has worked his way into Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. – 12:31 PM
Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN
Lance Stephenson vs Kemba Walker was the top attraction in NYC high school ball nearly 15 years ago. Now facing each other at the Garden on Christmas. Pretty cool – 12:30 PM
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Hi. My name is Keith. And I got overexcited about Jalen Johnson at Summer League.
(I still think he’ll be a player, but…yeah.) – 12:28 PM
Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
Knicks starters playing very well on both ends of the floor. NY jumps out to a 23-8 lead pic.twitter.com/liIJg0l54U12:25 PM
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Kemba missing the layup to get a rebound and assist on a corner three is light years ahead. – 12:24 PM
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Pervis Ellison in the news twice today (his son signed with Atlanta and his Celtics jersey # is being worn again) is not what I expected on Christmas.
However, a much-younger version of me was VERY excited when Boston signed the former #1 overall pick in 1994. Irrationally so! – 12:24 PM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Skylar Mays and Jalen Johnson checking in for the Hawks. – 12:21 PM
Wes Goldberg @wcgoldberg
the Knicks shouldn’t be allowed to wear anything but their classic jerseys with the normal court on Christmas. This is a crime. – 12:21 PM
Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband
If you’ve ever been to a Knicks game on Christmas, you know there is no better place to play Jewish geography. – 12:18 PM
Fred Katz @FredKatz
The Knicks are 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-5 from 3. They’re up 19-3. – 12:18 PM
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
It took almost five minutes – and seven straight makes – for the Knicks to finally miss their first shot. – 12:18 PM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
Ju getting in on the action.
RT #JuliusRandle x #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/vRBg0g82oD12:17 PM

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
16-3 start for the Knicks, who are back to their original projected starting lineup, against the Hawks, who are not. – 12:15 PM
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
A perfect start for the Knicks, who have hit their first 6 shots – including going 4-for-4 from 3-point range, and now lead 16-3 over the shorthanded Hawks. The starting lineup, which has struggled all season long, is certainly playing well today. – 12:14 PM
Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Hawks down 16-3 four minutes into the game.
Knicks haven’t missed from the field, going 6/6. Hawks are shooting 1/9. – 12:14 PM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Knicks have opened up 4-for-4 from 3 to take a 16-3 lead on the Hawks.
Hawks are 1-9 from the field (0-2 from 3). – 12:14 PM
Marc Berman @NYPost_Berman
Knicks 16, Atlanta JV 3 – 12:14 PM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
Swing it around, knock it down. pic.twitter.com/jDHwrvBRXS12:14 PM

Fred Katz @FredKatz
The Knicks could solve all their problems if they just bench everyone for 10 games. – 12:13 PM
Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband
Kemba with absolute confidence right now. First shot on Christmas, whole world watching, Madison Square Garden rocking, no problem. pic.twitter.com/q2NZc57TRU12:11 PM

Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband
Well, it took 90 seconds for me to regret not playing Kemba Walker in DFS today. – 12:10 PM
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
And Kemba Walker, once again in the starting lineup, continues his torrid streak since returning to the court with a 3-pointer and an assist to Mitchell Robinson for a dunk on New York’s first two possessions. Knicks out to a quick 8-2 lead. – 12:09 PM
Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband
Merry Kemba-mas, Knicks fans – 12:09 PM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
LET’S GO KNICKS. – 12:09 PM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
Julius & Kyden making Knicksmas memories 🧡💙 pic.twitter.com/feM80N74Wr12:07 PM

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
RJ Barrett back into the starting lineup for the Knicks, who are about to tip off the NBA’s holiday hoops schedule against the Hawks. Merry Christmas! – 12:07 PM
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Portland is signing guard Brandon Williams to a 10-day hardship deal out of G League’s Westchester Knicks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. With five players in protocols, Trail Blazers adding two guards (Williams, Cumberland) and a forward (Cameron McGriff). – 12:05 PM
Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
🎄 #NBAXmas is just getting started!
Hear the Hawks vs Knicks right now on NBA Radio!
🔊 https://t.co/AYipQpeyBw pic.twitter.com/hlnmHOn3Ws11:55 AM

Atlanta Hawks PR @HawksPR
Hawks Christmas Day Leaders:
Points (45) – Dominique Wilkins (12/25/1987)
Rebounds (18) – Bob Pettit (12/25/1963)
Assists (12) – Spud Webb (12/25/1989) – 11:45 AM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Hawks starters for the Christmas Day game vs. the Knicks:
Delon Wright
Bogdan Bogdanovic
Cam Reddish
John Collins
Clint Capela – 11:33 AM
Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Hawks starters vs. Knicks
Delon Wright
Bogdan Bogdanovic
Cam Reddish
John Collins
Clint Capela – 11:32 AM
Atlanta Hawks PR @HawksPR
Dominique Wilkins poured in 45 points in a 106-100 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas 1987, marking a Christmas Day franchise-high for points in a single game.
His 45 points are tied for the sixth-most points scored by a single player on Christmas in NBA history. – 11:30 AM
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
The Knicks are starting Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson today against the Hawks. Alec Burks officially moves back to the bench. – 11:28 AM
Fred Katz @FredKatz
Knicks starters:
Kemba Walker
Evan Fournier
RJ Barrett
Julius Randle
Mitchell Robinson
Alec Burks moves back to the bench. – 11:27 AM
Ian Begley @IanBegley
Kemba Walker, RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson starting for NYK today vs ATL. – 11:26 AM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
First 🖐 to go on Knicksmas pic.twitter.com/kjH3a700GG11:25 AM

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
Nate McMillan, whose Hawks have Trae Young among their absences on their rare Christmas chance.
“Trae was really excited to have that opportunity to play and unfortunately with the situation won’t be able to do that. But we know he’ll be supporting, he’ll be watching.” – 11:25 AM
Atlanta Hawks PR @HawksPR
In the club’s first Christmas game as Atlanta (12/25/1970), the Hawks fell to the Phoenix Suns 127-115. In that game, the Hawks and Suns combined for 122 FGA – the third-most FGA on Christmas Day in NBA history. – 11:15 AM
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
No Trae Young in MSG on Christmas just feels cruel. – 11:08 AM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
McMillan on 8 Hawks in protocols missing the Christmas Day game:
“… Our guys were really excited. Trae was really excited to have that opportunity to play and unfortunate with the situation won’t be able to do that. But we know know he’ll be supporting, he’ll be watching.” – 11:07 AM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
ALL-STAR VOTING IS OPEN!
RT TO VOTE FOR #JULIUSRANDLE #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/rZBiaicYT511:05 AM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Nate McMillan on if the luster/hype of the Christmas Day game is gone, with the Hawks missing so many players:
“Not for us. It’s an important game. I think that’s a question for the NBA and all of those folks. It’s still a Christmas Day game and guys get excited about that.” – 11:04 AM
Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
Cam Reddish and Delon Wright will be available.
Clint Capela has cleared protocols.
The injury list is still long. pic.twitter.com/O3cngYaYEG10:59 AM

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
The Knicks just announced that center Jericho Sims has entered the health and safety protocols. New York now has three players in them: Sims, Nerlens Noel and rookie Deuce McBride. – 10:58 AM
Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA
Are the Bucks title favorites hiding in plain site? Is this the best Utah team of the Mitchell-Gobert era? What happens if they fall short of the Finals? Why are the Hawks below .500 + how they can fix it?
Apple: apple.co/3Jdg9Ns
Spotify: spoti.fi/3JesmRZ10:58 AM
Ian Begley @IanBegley
Knicks say Jericho Sims is out today due to health and safety protocols. – 10:57 AM
Fred Katz @FredKatz
Jericho Sims has entered health and safety protocols and is out today, Knicks say. – 10:56 AM
New York Knicks PR @NY_KnicksPR
Jericho Sims (health and safety protocols) is out for today’s game against Atlanta. – 10:56 AM
Atlanta Hawks PR @HawksPR
On the first Christmas Day contest in Hawks history, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks defeated the Baltimore Bullets 87-72 behind 22 points from Cal Christensen at the Wharton Field House in Moline, Ill. – 10:56 AM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Looks like Clint Capela is the only Hawk to clear health and safety protocols in time for the Christmas Day game, per most recent injury report.
Cam Reddish and Delon Wright will be available. – 10:55 AM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
Merry Merry 🎄
#UltraDrip x #NewYorkForever pic.twitter.com/uk0GMFsoRw10:55 AM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
The Hawks are still depleted, but McMillan says it helps to have Bogdan Bogdanovic, John Collins and Clint Capela available today (three rotation guys who have experience playing together).
“It’ll be good to get that combination back out on the floor.” – 10:51 AM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Nate McMillan on getting Clint Capela back for the Christmas Day game vs. the Knicks:
“It’s huge. To get a guy back in rotation, it’s really important. Especially a big, losing Onyeka, we were down to really one big with John possibly having to play more C position.” – 10:48 AM
Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
Nate McMillan says Clint Capela, fresh out of health and safety protocols, will play today and they’ll see how his conditioning is. With lack of players available, not sure they have much choice. – 10:45 AM
Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
Nate McMillan made it sound like Delon Wright and Cam Reddish will be ready to play today. – 10:44 AM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
McMillan says he hasn’t gotten a minute restriction for Clint Capela for today, but they’ll monitor his conditioning, since he hasn’t played in a few days. – 10:42 AM
Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Nate McMillan said Cam Reddish and Delon Wright should be good to go.
Clint Capela is also good to go. McMillan said conditioning could be an issue but he’ll play. – 10:40 AM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Both Cam Reddish and Delon Wright are “nursing a little bit of an injury,” Nate McMillan says, but they should be ready to play today. – 10:40 AM
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
Nate McMillan says it’s huge getting Clint Capela back, especially given how many guys Atlanta is down. The Hawks enter today’s game against the Knicks down eight players — including Trae Young. – 10:35 AM
Atlanta Hawks PR @HawksPR
Against the Knicks on Christmas, the Hawks are 2-0 (St. Louis), winning both games at Madison Square Garden.
12/25/1956: Hawks 107, Knicks 105
12/25/1965: Hawks 131, Knicks 111 – 10:30 AM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
The making of the 2021-2022 City Edition Court designed by Kith. Thanks to the people who bring it all to life.
The New York way 🗽 pic.twitter.com/QBYXa01JEx10:30 AM

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
Kemba Walker will remain in the starting lineup, Thibodeau said. – 10:20 AM
Fred Katz @FredKatz
RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes will try to warm up, and if they can go, they’ll go, Tom Thibodeau says. Immanuel Quickley and Kevin Knox need more conditioning before they return. Nerlens Noel and Miles McBride remain in health and safety protocols. – 10:18 AM
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau says RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes will warm up and determine whether they can play. Immanuel Quickley and Kevin Knox, both of whom cleared protocols in the past 24 hours, won’t play, as they still need more time to ramp up their conditioning. – 10:18 AM
Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN
Sounds like RJ Barrett will play.
Quickley and Knox need more conditioning, according to Thibodeau. – 10:18 AM
Lang Whitaker @langwhitaker
Merry Christmas! The Atlanta Braves are the best team in baseball. – 10:10 AM
Atlanta Hawks PR @HawksPR
Today marks the 21st appearance for the Hawks on Christmas Day and first since 1989.
The Hawks have appeared on Christmas as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (1-0), Milwaukee Hawks (0-3), St. Louis Hawks (4-3) and Atlanta Hawks (4-5). – 10:08 AM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
Introducing the 2021-2022 City Edition Court designed by @KITH, taking inspiration from the City Edition Uniform and the greats that helped pave the way. pic.twitter.com/2PmiQZ0fw310:00 AM

New York Knicks @nyknicks
This Day in Knicks History: Bernard King put on a show for the ages 👑 pic.twitter.com/VeKVAUPWnp9:40 AM

Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
Has last year’s playoff collapse vs. ATL impacted Julius Randle?
In the final 45 games of 2020-21 reg season, Randle averaged:
25.2 points,
6.1 assists,
shot 42.3% from 3PT
In the 37 games since start of playoff series, Randle is averaging:
19.4 PPG,
4.8 APG
shot 32.2% from 3PT – 9:33 AM
Trae Young @TheTraeYoung
Another Day, Another Opportunity💯 – 9:32 AM
Marc Berman @NYPost_Berman
Kevin Knox of Knicks and Clint Capela of Hawks have been cleared from Covid protocols. Not sure either plays but advantage Hawks if the Hawks menacing center does. – 9:26 AM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
Knicksmas is back.
🏀: vs. Hawks
🕛: 12:00 PM ET
📺: @espn
#NewYorkForever x @BetMGM pic.twitter.com/mc64tbK5739:20 AM

Chris Kirschner @ChrisKirschner
Clint Capela has been cleared out of health and safety protocols and is available for today’s game.
The Hawks have also signed Cat Barber and Malik Ellison to 10-day contracts. – 9:18 AM
Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
The Hawks have just signed two players to 10-day hardship deals from their College Park Skyhawks @nbagleague affiliate hours before Atlanta’s Christmas Day date with the Knicks at MSG: Cat Barber and Malik Ellison. Ellison is the son of former No. 1 overall pick Pervis Ellison. – 9:16 AM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Hawks announce they have signed Cat Barber and Malik Ellison to 10-day contracts. – 9:08 AM
Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Clint Capela will be able to play in the Hawks’ Christmas Day game, having cleared protocols. – 9:07 AM
JD Shaw @JShawNBA
The Hawks have signed Malik Ellison to a 10-day contract, the team says. – 9:02 AM
New York Knicks @nyknicks
Form our family to yours, Happy Holidays!
— your New York Knicks 🧡💙 pic.twitter.com/pALsNFEJqE9:00 AM

Steve Popper @StevePopper
Knicks say Kevin Knox has cleared protocols – Merry Christmas all. – 8:43 AM
Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
Knicks announce Kevin Knox II has been cleared from health and safety protocols and rejoined the team – 8:42 AM
New York Knicks PR @NY_KnicksPR
Kevin Knox II has been cleared from health and safety protocols and rejoined the team. – 8:41 AM
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
The Atlanta Hawks are planning to sign guard Cat Barber on a 10-day hardship deal out of their G League affiliate College Park, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The former McDonald’s All-American and NC State star gets NBA call after being undrafted in 2016. – 8:05 AM
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
ESPN Sources: Hawks center Clint Capela has cleared Covid protocols and will play vs. the Knicks (noon, ESPN). Capela averages 11.5 points and 12.8 rebounds. Hawks still have eight players in protocols, including Trae Young. More on a two-hour NBA Countdown at 10 AM ET on ESP – 8:03 AM





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