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‘Twas an NBA Christmas: Bucks, Warriors, Nets, Jazz win close contests

James Harden

James Harden

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

‘Twas an NBA Christmas

With five games on tap

Running all day long

Hardly time for a nap!

The stockings were hung

By the chimney with care

In hopes we’d avoid

Another protocols scare

NBA fans were waking

From big comfy beds

While visions of close games

Still danced in their heads

The matchups were tasty

We all know the reason

Christmas Day

Is one of the best of the season

The Hawks and the Knicks

Met in last year’s first round

But the tables were turned

When Atlanta came to town

Giannis and Tatum

Clashed in the East

While many a family

Were settled in for a feast

For the Warriors and Suns

This rubber match was tense

In a possible finals preview

Of the Western Conference

LeBron and the Lakers

Looked to end their current skid

One team had something to say about that

The Nets did

The short-handed Hawks

Just couldn’t handle

The massive performance

Of Julius Randle

When out in the Garden

There arose such a clatter

I sprang to the box score

To see what was the matter

The refs blew their whistles

The calls they weren’t stoppin’

And then came a nasty reverse slam

From Obi Toppin

Kemba Walker couldn’t score

As many as Bernard King

But he still set a record

And did his own thing

He went 10/12/10

A Christmas triple-dub

The first player to do so

For this storied club

A certified baller

That young Quentin Grimes

Who scored a festive 15

And hit a 3-pointer five times

His 15/2/2/2 line in 25 minutes

Was something to savor

And Grimes is a guy

To consider scooping off waivers

Watching MitchRob this season

Has tied stomachs in knots

He got four points and eight boards

But at least blocked five shots

Alec Burks hit the bench

And logged just 18

Unproductive minutes

It was a sad sight to be seen

Evan Fournier

Kept on scoring quite well

He went 15/5/3/1

And made sure the Knicks didn’t take “No L”

The Hawks were in trouble

They were really missing Trae

But hey, no need to worry

At least they had Skylar Mays

Delon Wright scored a season-high 20

With three swipes and a full line

After two straight duds

It was about time!

Cam Reddish went 4-of-15

But played well otherwise

If he’s on your waiver wire

He should be highly prized

Bogdanovic was ice cold

From the field once again

He’s been a bust so far this season

He’ll start to turn it around… when?

With Atlanta shorthanded

They brought new faces to the fight

Including rookie Jalen Johnson

Who had a career night

And Lance Stephenson

Played 15 minutes, I hear

Yes, he’s back in the league

But not blowing in LeBron’s ear (yet)

Clint Capela started this one

Okongwu was out

John Collins excelled as usual

Was there ever any doubt?

It was mid-afternoon

And what to mine eyes did appear?

A team of Boston Celtics

And five green buck deer

The C’s held the lead

And kept Milwaukee at bay

But Wes Matthews came through

With a three to save the day

Jayson Tatum shot poorly

But scored 25

Even his 25/9/4/2/2 stat line

Couldn’t keep Boston’s chances alive

Jaylen Brown matched Tatum’s point total

And shone just as bright

As Rudolph’s shiny red nose

On a dark Christmas night

With no Horford, no Freedom

It was up to Time Lord

Who grabbed 14 boards with two blocks

And 11 he scored

Marcus Smart scored 19

Dished seven as well

He played 40 minutes

Barely rested a spell

Payton Pritchard scored in double-figures

For the third time in four games

He’s got big upside

Just remember that name!

Donte DiVincenzo

Stepped back on the court

Well ahead of schedule

Man, that recovery was short!

Giannis cleared protocols

Just in the nick of time

He went 36/12/5/2

And his play was sublime

Jrue Holiday filled the stat sheet

Khris Middleton played well too

Bobby Portis double-doubled off the bench

Yeah, we know what these guys can do

And what of Wes Matthews

Who was mentioned above?

His go-ahead three

Filled Bucks fans with love

The Suns and the Dubs

Came down right to the wire

Until Otto Porter

Got hot late and caught fire

Yes the closer for Golden State


What’s that?

He should be rostered in more leagues, you say?

Steph Curry scored 30

For the fourth straight game

And knocked in 5 triples

Just more of the same

Draymond Green was tremendous

He played well on both ends

With an 8/10/8/3/3 line

This I tell you, my friends

Looney pulled down 10

Kuminga scored an efficient 12

Gary Payton II went 14/8/2/1

Such productive Warrior elves

The Suns stayed competitive

They didn’t get lapped

But Deandre Ayton’s double-double

Streak was snapped

CP3 led the way

In scoring (21) and dimes (8)

And he rebounded the ball

By my count, six times

Devin Booker went frigid

Going 5-of-19

He scored only 13 points

Yeah, that wasn’t too keen

The day turned to evening

On this December date

And a highly-anticipated matchup

Appeared on the slate

The Lakers had lost two

In a row, both by blowout

LeBron and Co. had a chance to win

If they showed out

Brookly got some reinforcements

Though reserves were still scant

Still the team managed to win

Even without Durant

The game went back and forth

Though the Nets ultimately won

There were more than a few records set

Oh, how fun!

Patty Mills scored 34

And hit 8-of-13 from downtown

That’s a new Christmas single-game record

Mills sits on top with the crown

And speaking of kings,

What of old LeBron James?

This was his 16th contest on Dec. 25

Tying the most ever such games

LeBron scored 39

To move into first place

On the all-time Christmas scoring list

Kobe, he replaced

LeBron also moved ahead of Durant

For most threes in a Christmas career

Man this guy just keeps getting better

Year after year

Russell Westbrook posted another

Triple-double on Christmas

He joins Oscar Robertson

As exclusive members on that list

James Harden triple-doubled

In his Nets return

Fear the Beard? No more aptly,

Feel the burn

Harden filled up the stat sheet

With 36/10/10 and four stocks

With Durant out of action

A big night was practically a lock

DeAndre’ Bembry had a solid night

And so did Nic Claxton

Despite missing some players

Blake Griffin was taken mostly out of action

James Johnson looked pretty good

In 25 minutes and did his part

So did Bruce Brown

Who drew the Christmas Day start

Malik Monk popped for 20

He does that sometimes

He’s not a fantasy-friendly player

Low rebounds, stocks, and dimes

Carmelo Anthony erupted

For one of his best games of the year

He double-doubled with five stocks

It was pure Christmas cheer

Darren Collison checked in

For 12 minutes - wow!

He went for two rebounds and a dime

And three stupid fouls

No Luka, no problem

That’s what the Mavs said

They hung in there with Utah

After being left for dead

No Hardaway, no Bullock

No WCS, no Burke

No DFS, no Kleber

But they made it work

Kristaps Porzingis kept Dallas

Afloat with his scoring

He filled out the stat sheet

By no means boring

Dwight Powell did little

Frank Ntilikina looked good

So did Marquess Chriss and Theo Pinson

Just like we knew they would

Jalen Brunson poured in 27

And 10 in the fourth

For as long as Luka’s out

Brunson’s got solid fantasy worth

Bojan Bogdanovic

Kept his hot scoring hot

Dallas tried to stop him

But he scored over 20, they did not

Donovan Mitchell scored with gusto

As he most often does

Another 30-point showing

That’ll earn him some buzz

Rudy Gobert

Had a meager double-double

For most players fine

But for him, oh so subtle

Mike Conley (22/7/5/1) had a good game

Jordan Clarkson did too

Though efforts from Whiteside

And Clarkson were moot

Then on TV

I saw a man speak

Commissioner Adam Silver

Mild-mannered, but not meek

He was tall with no hair

Glasses perched on his head

And I cried out with wonder

When I heard what he said

On James, On Steph, On Giannis, On Harden!

On Kemba, On Randle, at home in the Garden!

On Westbrook, On Tatum, On Collins, and Brown!

A tear came to my eye at those beautiful NBA sounds

As the Mavs and Jazz finished

I heard him clearly state

Merry Christmas to all

See you at the All-Star Break!