Former Celtic Kemba Walker's torrid stretch continues with Knicks


Kemba Walker's return to the court for the New York Knicks reached yet another level on Christmas Day.

In his fourth game back in the rotation -- and first since dropping 44 points on Thursday -- Walker spread some holiday cheer with the third triple-double of his career and first in nearly eight years, scoring 10 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 12 assists in a 101-87 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Walker returned from a 10-game exile on the bench against the Boston Celtics on December 18, pouring in what was then a season-high 29 points in a 114-107 Knicks loss.

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The triple-double for Walker was historic on a number of levels: He became the first Knick to record a triple-double on Christmas Day in franchise history, spanning 54 games; the first player since Draymond Green in 2017 and just seventh overall to have a triple-double on Christmas; and the first Knick to follow up a 40-point game with a triple-double since Carmelo Anthony in 2012.

Since Walker returned to New York's rotation, the Knicks are 2-2 but Walker is averaging 25 points per contest.

Meanwhile, the Celtics could certainly use another body, with nine players set to miss the team's Christmas Day game against the Milwaukee Bucks due to health and safety protocols. Boston traded Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder over the summer in a deal that brought Al Horford back, but he was subsequently waived and signed with his hometown Knicks after two up-and-down seasons with the Celtics.