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Westbrook’s record half pushes West to lead



NEW YORK — Russell Westbrook set an NBA All-Star Game record by scoring 27 in a half, guiding the Western Conference to an 83-82 lead over the Eastern Conference at halftime Sunday.

The Oklahoma City Thunder guard hit 11 of 15 first-half shots from the floor, including three of five 3-point attempts. Houston Rockets guard James Harden scored 15 points before the break, and Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry added 10 points apiece for the West.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 22 first-half points. Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver contributed 12 points before intermission, and Washington Wizards guard John Wall had 11.

The first quarter featured nine dunks and 13 3-pointers as the West took a 47-36 lead. The East held an 18-16 edge after James knocked down consecutive 3-pointers.

The West scored the next 12 points on two 3-pointers by Aldridge and 3-pointers by Curry and Harden. Korver knocked down three straight 3-pointers to get the East to within 39-32, but Westbrook scored six points in the final 91 seconds including a two-handed dunk at the buzzer.

Westbrook continued his show by scoring 11 of the West’s first 13 points of the second quarter. He had three straight 3-pointers and another thunderous dunk, and the West opened a 60-42 lead.

Westbrook’s layup after five straight offensive rebounds by the West extended the lead to 67-49 and set the record for points in a half.

The East cut the deficit to one point at halftime after Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving sank a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left.

NOTES: Sunday marked the fifth time that New York hosted the All-Star Game. It also hosted the game in 1954, 1955, 1968 and 1998. … Toronto G Kyle Lowry and Washington G John Wall were first-time starters. It was the first time that the East’s starting backcourt consisted of first-time starters since Allen Iverson (Philadelphia) and Eddie Jones (Charlotte) got the nod in 2000. … The Warriors had two starters in the game for the first time since 1967, when Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond combined for 54 points in the Cow Palace near San Francisco. … Miami F Chris Bosh is the third player in NBA history to be a five-time All Star with two different teams. The others are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee and Los Angeles Lakers) and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota and Boston). … Former Knicks play-by-play broadcaster Marv Albert called his 20th All-Star Game.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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