The West jumped out to a quick lead against the highly touted Eastern Conference 39-28 after the first quarter and 88-69 at half-time. That’s right, the East gave up 88 points by half. This was the new East that was suppose to be talent heavy. The defense in this game consisted mostly of getting a good view outside the lane as the opposing team threw down a rim-rattling dunk.
It is a time honored tradition that no NBA All-Star player even play a hint of defense during the All-Star game. If you attempt to body up a man in the post or heaven forbid take a charge, you would certainly be ostracized by your peers.
Thank god this years group of All-Stars clearly understand the NBA All-Star credo and upheld it to a tee. Players put up massive numbers this year as even the slightest of defensive efforts were avoided at all cost. Perhaps the most surprising result of all this playground hooping was it turned out to be a great game. It essentially game down to Kobe and Kevin with the West versus LeBron and Wade in the East.
Kobe went for 27 points and in the process became the all-time points leader in All-Star game history. He passed Michael Jordan’s 262 points to add yet another record to Kobe’s trophy shelf. Durant was the points leader for the West with an impressive 36 point, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steal night. He also grabbed the All-Star MVP award in the process.
The East was lead by the Miami duo of Wade and LeBron. Wade recorded only the 3rd ever triple-double in NBA All-Star history going for 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. LeBron was the real story for the East single-handedly leading a second half charge to get the East back in the game. James erupted for 36 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and shot 6-8 from downtown.
In response to his second half effort James stated “Being a competitor, no matter All-Star game or not, you don’t want to get blown out. I just wanted to try to pick it up and see if we could make a run at it, and we did.”
With that said, it was a turnover by James after a Williams 3 miss with just seconds left on the clock that a lot of naysayers will point to claiming LeBron once again wasn’t clutch when it counted. About his late game turnover James stated, “Definitely wish I could have that one back.”
After the game was over and the West won 152-149 all the players congratulated each other with smiles and high-fives. “It was fun,” Durant said. “That’s the type of All-Star game you want to see.” It was obvious that despite his 36 points, LeBron was the only one not enjoying the moment. His last possession turnover clearly irritated him and he walked straight to the bench. It seems the King was the only one not having fun Sunday night in Orlando.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS