LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15 (Ticker) --
Whether it be regular season, playoffs
or the All-Star Game, you can take Tim Duncan
to the bank.
Duncan's patented bank shot with 26 seconds left provided the
final lead change of a seesaw fourth quarter and helped the
Western Conference to a 136-132 victory over the Eastern
Conference at the Staples Center.
With flashy performances from hometown heroes Kobe Bryant and
Shaquille O'Neal, the West won for the third straight time. But
with the game in the balance, West coach Flip Saunders went to
Duncan, the superstar forward of the NBA champion San Antonio
Tim Duncan hit the big shot late and scored 14 points in all.|
Jesse D. Garrabrant
Working against New Orleans Hornets center Jamaal Magloire
Duncan buried a turnaround bank shot to give the West a 133-132
edge, the sixth lead change of the final period.
"It was a play that Flip drew up a couple of options to it,"
Duncan said. "I was kind of the third one."
"Timmy is one of those guys, he makes big plays," Saunders said.
The East had two more chances, but Orlando's Tracy McGrady threw
away a lob pass and - after Seattle's Ray Allen made two free
throws - Milwaukee's Michael Redd missed a potential tying
Duncan, who shared All-Star MVP honors with O'Neal in 2000, sank
a free throw to seal it. He had a highly characteristic 14
points and 13 rebounds as part of a balanced attack that was
tilted in the West's favor by Lakers teammates O'Neal and
"My game doesn't change from a regular game to an All-Star
Game," Duncan said. "I wish I could be involved in the
high-flying stuff, but that's just not what I do."
O'Neal had 24 points, 11 rebounds, a handful of thunderous dunks
and several comedic moments as he captured his second All-Star
"I'm not one really known known to be taking over an All-Star
Game," O'Neal said. "I said to myself if it's going good,
nobody is really shining, I'm going to go ahead and go for it."
Bryant, who arrived late to the arena, had 20 points and five
steals. He heard some boos from the crowd when he opted for a
layup rather than a dunk on a breakaway in the third quarter.
"I just didn't have the momentum so I just laid it in," he said.
For the third time in four years, the midseason showcase came
down to the closing moments. A free throw by Duncan tied it at
127-127 with 2:40 to go, but McGrady, who scored 13 points, sank
a long jumper. O'Neal tied it again as he hurtled down the
lane for a powerful dunk at the 1:57 mark as New Jersey Nets
guard Jason Kidd ran for cover.
"I just went in and took it and took 2.9 steps and threw it
down," O'Neal said.
"You've got to think about your family," Kidd said. "I don't
know if he has an anti-lock brake system but I was just going to
get out of the way."
McGrady made a nifty lefthanded drive and Bryant drilled a long
jumper before McGrady gave the East its last lead at 132-131 by
splitting a pair of free throws with 37 seconds left.
"It was a nail-biter at the end," Bryant said. "It was a good
The West had seven players in double figures, as did the East.
Allen and Houston center Yao Ming scored 16 points each for the
West, while Magloire and New Jersey Nets forward Kenyon Martin-
each playing in his first All-Star Game - came off the bench to
score 19 and 17 points, respectively.
O'Neal was highly entertaining. He took a couple of spins at
point guard in the first half, having his drive swatted out of
bounds by Magloire. He later responded by pounding a shot by
Magloire into the seats.
"I had a lot of fun," O'Neal said. "A couple of people told me
if I get it, there's an opening, they want me to go coast to
In the third quarter, O'Neal scored 10 points on the court and
countless points off it. One of his dunks rocked the backboard
stanchion so severely it prompted referee Steve Javie to ask if
there was an extra one in the building. Seconds later, he
scored on a post move, grabbed a fan's video camera and turned
it on himself, wiping his brow for effect.
NBA scoring leader Allen Iverson of Philadelphia, who came in
with the highest average in All-Star Game history, became a
passer, handing out 11 assists with just three points. He had a
pair of long lobs that Toronto's Vince Carter turned into
jaw-dropping dunks in the first quarter, which ended with the
East holding a 33-31 lead.
"It was funny," Iverson said. "The Indiana coaches said, 'If we
put you back in at the 2-guard, will you shoot the ball?'"
Magloire, whose presence in this game was questioned, was the
best player on the floor in the second quarter, scoring eight
points. McGrady reprised his self-pass off-the-glass jam late
in the period, helping the East to a 64-58 advantage.
"I felt in my heart that I am an All-Star," Magloire said.
"This won't be the last time I will be an All-Star."
Iverson set up McGrady and Carter for trampoline-act dunks early
in the third quarter, but O'Neal began to assert himself
shortly thereafter as the West turned a 71-62 deficit into an
"When you have guys like Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady, you
just throw it up to them," Iverson said.