All Star Weekend 2017 commenced Friday night in the city of New Orleans. The venue opened up with the All-Star Celebrity Game as well as the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. Here’s a recap of what went down during Friday night’s events:
All-Star Celebrity Game
Head Coaches Michael Smith and Jemele Hill kicked off the event with some playful back-and-forth smack talk. Ultimately, team EAST, led by head coach Jemele Hill, proved to be too much to handle, cruising to an 88-59 victory.
Win Butler got off to a hot start, finishing the first half with 12 points, seven rebounds and going 6-of-8 from the field for team EAST.
Romeo Miller connected on 5-of-11 field goals in the first half for team WEST. He finished the first half with 11 points and four rebounds.
After an air-balled three-point attempt by Romeo Miller to start the third quarter, everyone on the court surprised the crowd by performing the mannequin challenge.
Brandon Armstrong earned MVP of the All-Star Celebrity Game, finishing the night with 16 points, 15 rebounds and two assists.
BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
The NBA continued its third straight year with the Team USA vs Team World format Friday evening. The game tipped off with players attempting pull up threes, whimsical passes and flashy dunks. Team World leaped out to a 77-66 halftime lead. Buddy Hield caught fire early, connecting on 8-of-13 field goal attempts for 19 points in the first half. Team USA shot 56 percent from the field and made six out of their 23 three-point attempts in the first half.
Nikola Jokic was threading the needle early. He squeezed a few back door passes through some tight windows, tossed some no look lobs and ran the break in transition.
D’Angelo Russel dazzled the crowd with his fancy ball handling. Russel was gliding around the court seeking to embarrass defenders and put them on skates.
Jamal Murray was raining fire from deep, sinking 10 three-pointers. Murray finished the game with 36 points, four rebounds and 11 assists. Murray iced the game late and received the Most Valuable Player award trophy.
All-Star weekend now shifts its attention to Saturday night, where the Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shootout and Slam Dunk Contest will take place. Last year’s runner-up, Aaron Gordon, will be returning to the Slam Dunk Contest tomorrow.
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