The 71st NBA All-Star game was played on Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, with Team LeBron going up against Team Durant in this season’s classic. Team LeBron came away with the 163-160 victory in a game that was a shooting exhibition until the fourth quarter, when both teams stepped up their defense.
Curry Wins MVP
Even though he’s having his worst year shooting the ball from three-point range this season, Stephen Curry finished the game with 50 points as he shattered Paul George’s record with 16 threes on 16-27 shooting from long range. It’s the first All-Star MVP award for Curry, who is first on the all-time list of three-pointers made in a career.
Curry was booed throughout the weekend’s events by the fans in Cleveland, a team he won three NBA Finals against in his career. He scored 24 first-half points and 26 in the second to lead Team Lebron. The fans also had a mixed reaction when Curry was named MVP, as James nailed the game-winning shot for his team in front of his hometown fans. Curry and James were both born in nearby Akron, Ohio.
Antetokounmpo on Fire
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for Team Lebron, and James scored 24 points along with eight assists and six rebounds. Chris Paul, who will be out of his team’s lineup for six to eight weeks with a fractured thumb, appeared in the game and played two minutes, going 0-1 from the field.
First-time All-Stars and current Cleveland Cavaliers Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland had good outings in front of their home crowd as Garland finished with 13 points on 5 of 12 shooting. He was also three of seven from three-point range and added three assists and two steals. Allen finished the game with 10 points, nine rebounds, and two blocked shots in 24 minutes.
Embiid Leads Team Durant
Joel Embiid had a great game for Team Durant, finishing with 36 points on 14 of 20 shooting from the field. He also had five three-pointers to lead the team, along with ten rebounds.
Devin Booker came off the bench to score 20 points, making nine of eighteen shots and added four steals. Lonzo Ball, playing in his first All-Star game, followed up with 18 points and handed out three assists.
League Names 75th Anniversary team
Another highlight of this All-Star Weekend was the naming of the NBA’s top 75 players for the league’s 75th Anniversary. The last time All-Star weekend was in Cleveland was 25 years ago, in 1997, when the league named the top players to mark the 50th Anniversary of the NBA.
The players weren’t ranked by the league but included 25 additional greats added to the list since the last time the league named the greatest players in 1997. Michael Jordan was at the top of the list, along with LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and Wilt Chamberlain. Other top players on the all-time list include Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, Oscar Robertson, and Kobe Bryant.
The players will have a couple more days of rest as the NBA regular season schedule resumes on Thursday night, with seven games on the ledger. The Cleveland will be traveling to face the Detroit Pistons in the first game of the night.