Celtics 114, Knicks 107: Kemba Walker returns with a vengeance in loss

knicks, kemba walker

Despite a resilient effort missing several key players, the New York Knicks fell to the Boston Celtics on Saturday evening 107-114.

The Knicks were missing Kevin Knox, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, and Miles McBride in the contest, utilizing a depth trio of Wayne Selden, Taj Gibson, and Mitchell Robinson off the bench.

The loss of McBride came in the early portions of Saturday, despite the Knicks planning to rely on him as their primary point guard to open the game. However, they were forced to recall Kemba Walker from the bench, who had an illustrious performance after being benched on November 26.

Over 37 minutes, Walker scored 29 points, including three assists, six rebounds, and shooting 5 of 11 from three-point range. The last time Walker performed was on November 26 against the Phoenix Suns, recording 17 points on 50% shooting from three-point range.

While his impressive outing against Boston, his former team, won’t convince head coach Tom Thibodeau he’s worthy of more playing time, it was undoubtedly an inspiring performance that will confuse Knick fans moving forward.

As a team, New York shot 36.1% from three-point range and 43.8% from the field, tallying 42 rebounds and 18 assists. Boston posted a 37.8% three-point percentage, recording 45 rebounds and 23 assists.

Boston’s starting unit performed adequately, as Jayson Tatum logged 25 and Jaylen Brown recorded 23. However, it was reserve piece Josh Richardson that showed up with 27 points and five rebounds, hitting 5 of 7 shots from deep.

Unfortunately, the Knicks were unable to escape with a victory in this contest, despite a resilient effort from the starters. Evan Fournier also had a fantastic offensive game, recording 32 points, five rebounds, and shooting 40% from three-point range over 43 minutes.

Alec Burks contributed 19 points and Julius Randle 20 points, but their defense wasn’t strong enough to hold up in the contest. Losing so many depth pieces was simply unsustainable for Thibodeau’s squad, but they will look ahead to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night as a rebound.