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NFL star Terrell Owens and hip-hop impresario Master P combined for 35 points and New Orleans withstood a frantic final possession by the Hornets for a thrilling 51-50 victory Friday night. Owens scored 18 points - including a dunk - and received MVP honors and Master P added 17, including the go-ahead free throws with 19 seconds left.
The Hornets led most of the way and were paced by two-time Super Bowl champion Deion Sanders, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather, who also scored 14 points. "Rush Hour 3" star Chris Tucker made the game's only three 3-pointers and added 11 points.
On the final possession, Sanders, 2008 Grammy winner Common and Tucker missed potential game-winning shots.
The Hornets held a 28-23 halftime lead despite little contribution from "Access Hollywood" co-host Tony Potts, the MVP of last year's game in Las Vegas. They got the jump behind Mayweather, who scored nine first-half points, including a three-point play off a backcourt steal. Mayweather got some help from Sanders, who had six points and seven boards before refusing a halftime trade to New Orleans for "The Wire" actor Seth Gilliam.
New Orleans trailed by double digits before receiving a boost from Owens, a late arrival who wasted no time getting into the flow. He put up seven quick points, matching Miller - a former Toronto Raptors training camp invitee - for team scoring honors in the first half.
For the fourth straight year, the game was televised by ESPN. Actresses Gabrielle Union (New Orleans) and Alyssa Milano (Hornets) served as coaches and ESPN analysts Stephen A. Smith (New Orleans) and Bill Walton (Hornets) were general managers. At halftime, the sellout crowd at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center was treated to a performance by hip hop star Lupe Fiasco during halftime.
You've heard the expression "Don't quit your day job," right?
As nearly two dozen celebrities gathered for the McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game from NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on the north bank of the Mississippi River, there were plenty of highlights and a few not-as-high lights to go around.
In what can only be described as a geographical paradox, Team New Orleans knocked off The Hornets, 51-50, and with so many actors, musicians and performers on the court at one time, this game had its fair share of drama.
The 2008 McDonald's All-Star Celebrity Game, a.k.a. the "Battle in the Bayou," a.k.a. "Where Celebrities Hooping It Up Happens," brought 20 celebrities together at Jam Session Center Court in New Orleans on Friday night. Although all 20 were able to display their basketball talents to the raucous crowd and the world through NBA TV, only one could emerge with the coveted MVP Trophy.
Tonight belonged to a Dallas Cowboys' star, wide receiver Terrell Owens, who took home the trophy after leading the New Orleans team to a 51-50 victory. Owens finished with a game-high 18 points despite playing in less than three quarters of action.
Ne-Yo (2008 Grammy for Best Contemp. Album)
Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights)
Taylor Hicks (2006 American Idol Winner)
Seth Gilliam (The Wire)
James Lafferty (One Tree Hill)
Master P (Hip-hop Artist)
Ruth Riley (WNBA All-Star, San Antonio Silver Stars)
AJ Calloway (Extra)
Coach: Gabrielle Union, (Starship Dave)
General Manager: Stephen A. Smith (ESPN)
Chris Tucker (Rush Hour 3)
Common (2008 Grammy for Best Rap Perf. By a Duo or Group)
James Kyson Lee (Heroes)
Josh Peck (Drake and Josh)
Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris)
Deion Sanders (Two-Time Super Bowl Champion)
Swin Cash (WNBA All-Star, Detroit Shock)
Tony Potts (Access Hollywood)
Coach: Alyssa Milano, (Wisegal, Touch clothing)
General Manager: Bill Walton (NBA Legend and ESPN Analyst)