Tonight’s NBA All-Star Game in Toronto was a pretty big blowout, with the Western Conference beating the Eastern Conference by a score of 196-173. However, that didn’t take away from the fun since we got to see plenty of highlight plays and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on the All-Star stage one last time.
Entering All-Star Weekend, most of the talk understandably surrounded the 37-year-old since he’s set to retire after this season. Bryant made sure to match-up against certain players, such as Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Bulls forward Pau Gasol (his former teammate). He ultimately finished with 10 points (all in the first half), seven assists and six rebounds in 26 minutes. Bryant was pulled out of the game with 1:06 remaining so that he could receive a standing ovation from the Toronto crowd.
While it was great to see Bryant’s career celebrated, other players put on a show too.
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was named the game’s Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season, finishing with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals (as well as a number of awesome dances). The West’s second-leading scorer was Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who had 26 points (including two dunks and a 40-footer to end the game) as well as six assists, five rebounds and four steals. Pelicans forward Anthony Davis had an impressive stat line: 24 points (on 12-13 from the field) and six rebounds in 15 minutes.
The game’s top scorer, however, played for the East. Pacers forward Paul George had 41 points, which was one shy of the All-Star record set by Wilt Chamberlain (and he had plenty of time to break it, but Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Warriors forward Draymond Green double-teamed him late). George hit nine threes (an All-Star record) while also contributing five rebounds.
The rest of the East starters (Cavaliers forward LeBron James, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and HEAT guard Dwyane Wade) all scored 14 points or less. Wizards guard John Wall was the East’s second-leading scorer, contributing 22 points (on an impressive 10-14 from the field, including two threes). Pistons center Andre Drummond played well too, chipping in 16 points, 13 rebounds and two steals in 18 minutes.
Here were some of the highlight plays:
Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star Game introduction:
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James connected for several alley-oops. Here’s one.
Kobe vs. LeBron one last time on the All-Star stage.
Russell Westbrook dunks.
Standing ovation for Kobe.
Report: NBA All-Star Game Starters Announced
LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and rising second-year stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young headline the star-studded group of present and future superstars who make up the starters for the 69th All-Star Game.
James, the catalyst for the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, will captain the Western Conference team for the second straight season. Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks’ star and reigning Kia MVP, captains the Eastern Conference team for a second straight season as well.
A fresh face in the starters’ mix this season is Dallas wunderkind Luka Doncic, who joins Houston’s James Harden as the two starters in the backcourt. Clippers forward and reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Lakers forward Anthony Davis round out the All-L.A. frontcourt.
Boston’s Kemba Walker is joined by Atlanta’s Trae Young in the East backcourt. Like Doncic, Young is a first-time All-Star and starter in just his second NBA season. Antetokounmpo will be flanked by Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, another first time All-Star and starter, in the East frontcourt.
Adam Silver Believes Next Year’s ASG Draft Will be Televised
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was pleased with the new format for the league’s All-Star Game and believed that next year’s player draft would be televised.
“I thought it was incredible. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of the players,” Silver told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne following a 148-145 win for Team LeBron over Team Stephen at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
2018 NBA All-Star Sunday Recap
Michael Petrower recaps the All-Star Game from Sunday in Los Angeles.
The 2018 NBA All Star Game had some added appeal this year, with Captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry selecting playground style from the pool of All-Stars. Although it was not televised, it drew a lot of interest to say the least.
Team Lebron was headlined by Kevin Durant (the alleged first pick), Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving. Sadly, Team Lebron suffered big losses with John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Kevin Love and Kristaps Porzingis going down with injuries. Team Stephen was led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Joel Embiid and Demar DeRozan.
NBA fans were ready to indulge on the highlight real of plays to commence…That was, until the NBA inflicted a marathon-like performance that seemed a bit unnecessary, to say the least. Kevin Hart was at the center of theatrics that had NBA fans scratching their heads questioning what was on their television screen. Fergie topped off the saga with what was one of the more questionable national anthems we’ve seen in recent years. However, if you stuck around long enough, the game started at 8:40 PM EST and the flashy plays that we hoped for, began.
Joel Embiid made his first A;l-Star game appearance and kicked off the scoring festivities for Team Stephen with a ferocious and-one dunk. Team Stephen led all of the first quarter and won the quarter 42-31. Karl Anthony Towns led the first quarter scoring with 11 points. Team LeBron, however would storm back and cut the lead to two, 78-76 at half. LeBron came into his 14th straight All-Star game and lead his team at the half with 15 points. Klay Thompson also lead Team Stephen with 15 points at half.
The second half ensued and after some back and forth between the two teams, Team Stephen was leading by three going into the fourth quarter, 112-109. Team Stephen grew their lead to 11 while LeBron and KD got some rest. But after the two came back in, the 11-point deficit was erased after a LeBron three and the teams were now tied at 144 with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter.
DeRozan would make a free throw to put Team Stephen up one point, but Lebron followed with a strong two-pointer to put his team up one. DeRozan tried to answer, but threw away a pass which resulted in an easy two points for Russell Westbrook to ice the game. Team LeBron was the 2018 All Star Game winner with a score of 148-145.
LeBron James went on to win his third All Star MVP after finishing with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds, eigh assists and a steal on 12-17 shooting. DeRozan and Damian Lillard lead Team Stephen with 21 points each.