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West outshines East in 62nd All-Star Game in Houston


POSTED: Feb 18, 2013 3:16 AM ET

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Chris Paul becomes the first Clipper to win an All-Star MVP.

> FINAL: WEST 143, EAST 138

> Box Score

> Highlights: Paul nutmegs Bosh | Harden to Westbrook redux | Long-range Dwight | Durant dominates

HOUSTON -- Everybody has their comfort zone.

Fish are at home in the ocean, birds in the sky and Kevin Durant in the All-Star Game.

Playing with the best of the best, Durant shows up year after year, does what he does best and makes it look as easy as falling out of bed. The Thunder forward poured in 30 points to top all scorers on Sunday night, leading the West to a 143-138 victory over the East at the Toyota Center.

It was the third consecutive win for the Western Conference and, not coincidentally, Durant became the first player in history to score 30 or more points in three straight All-Star Games.

"I'm shooting a lot of shots -- 24 shots up in 31 minutes," Durant said. "I'm just out there having fun ... I played a lot of street basketball. I played a lot of celebrity games. This is my type of ballgame, up and down."

East vs. West

In the end, though, it was definitely Chris Paul's type of game as the Clippers' point guard played with the ball all night like it was a yo-yo on a string. He made 7 of his 10 shots to finish with 20 points and 15 assists, and for most of the night looked like a maestro conducting a personal symphony and was voted the game's MVP. If Paul wasn't tossing lob passes for six of Clippers teammate Blake Griffin's seven slam dunks, he was dropping off slick feeds as he darted through the lane or dribbling the ball through the legs of an often befuddled Chris Bosh.

Miami's Bosh played the role of hapless shooter on offense and victim on defense for most of the night, hoisting up three air balls in the first half and twice getting beat when Paul and then the Spurs' Tony Parker dribbled the ball right between his legs.

The evening will be partly remembered for a pair of fourth-quarter blocks by Kobe Bryant on LeBron James. The swats brought gasps from the crowd and probably had 50-year-old birthday boy Michael Jordan puffing a little harder on that postgame victory cigar, as earlier in the week he had come down hard in the middle of the "Kobe-or-LeBron?" debate.

It was a game that had the hustling, bustling, sometimes comically appealing subplot of the Bull-in-a-china shop Joakim Noah crashing the boards, chasing down loose balls and even having the temerity to -- oh my -- even try to play defense amid the freewheeling All-Star offensive carnival.

It was the usual star-studded, celebrity-filled atmosphere inside the arena as Alicia Keys performed at halftime and former NBA greats and stars from the world of acting and movies -- Common, Chris Tucker, Kevin Hart, Drake, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and Jay-Z -- watched from courtside.

Yet the thread that ran through it all was Durant, who like Beyonce in the front row, can increase the wattage of the bright lights just by being in a room.

In four All-Star appearances, Durant now has a career scoring average of 28.8 points, the highest in All-Star history, easily ahead of James' second-place 25.1. In the past three All-Star games, Durant has shot 38-for-72 (.528) and averaged 33.3 points. What made this a special night for Durant was being briefly reunited on the court with his former Oklahoma City teammate James Harden, who now plays for the hometown Rockets.

After spending three seasons together building a team that went to the NBA Finals last season and playing along with Russell Westbrook in winning an Olympic gold medal last summer, a budget decision by the Thunder had Harden suddenly traded on Oct. 27.

"He just told me he missed me in the locker room again," said Harden, who finished with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. "I miss those guys as well. Just being with them every day, when you leave somewhere, you definitely are going to miss them. This weekend was good for us just to see each other and catch up on good times."

Of course, the good times are always rolling for Durant in the All-Star Game.

"It was fun," he said. "Playing with [Harden] today made me miss him a little bit. I'm happy he was an All-Star, especially in the city he plays in. It was a lot of fun. I didn't want it to be over. It's always great playing with all these guys. They make it fun. It's a blessing to be here."

A fish in the ocean, a bird in the sky. Back in his comfort zone.

-- Fran Blinebury

2013 INFO

What: 62nd NBA All-Star Game
Where: Toyota Center Center
Particpants: Complete roster

The stars are coming to Houston on Feb. 17 when the NBA stages the 62nd NBA All-Star Game from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

In a midseason showcase for the NBA, the 2013 All-Star Game will feature 24 of the league's brightest stars. The five starters for the Eastern and Western Conference's teams will be selected via fan voting while the All-Star reserves will be named by the coaches.

The 2013 All-Star Game will have a high bar to surpass the excitement of last year's game in Orlando that featured Kevin Durant's MVP performance.

NBA All-Star 2013 in Houston will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league's history for a global celebration of the game. This is the third time Houston has hosted the All-Star Game -- the city previously hosted in 2006 and 1989.

RECENT EVENT HISTORY

2012 (Orlando)
Stars come through to finish 2012 All-Star Game with a bang
LeBron James and Kevin Durant engaged in an entertaining back-and-forth where the All-Star Game award exchanged hands roughly 50 times, give or take. Whenever Durant's grip seemed secure on the trophy, LeBron ripped it away. And vice versa.

In the end, Durant's West team walked away on top with a thrilling 152-149 win.

2011 (Los Angeles)
Kobe wins MVP as West holds off East in All-Star Game
Nothing was going to stop Kobe Bryant from a victory in this All-Star game, not on his home floor. Shining brightest again among the stars, Bryant scored 37 points and tied a record with his fourth MVP award in the Western Conference's 148-143 victory over the East in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.

2010 (Dallas)
Wade takes MVP honors before largest basketball crowd in history
Everything's not just bigger in Texas -- it's gigantic, colossal, and don't forget -- humongous. The NBA All-Star Game came to the Lone Star State and a basketball nation broke out as a world-record crowd of 108,713 filled up the futuristic edifice that is Cowboys Stadium to see the East squeeze out a 141-139 win over the West.

2009 (Phoenix)
Back together, Shaq and Kobe share MVP honors
Teammates for three championships with the Lakers at the beginning of the decade, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal teamed up once more to lead the Western Conference over the East 146-119. Bryant led all scorers with 27 points while Shaq added 17.

2008 (New Orleans)
LeBron's MVP performance leads East to win
LeBron James earned MVP honors and nearly missed a triple-double (27 points, eight rebounds, nine assists) as the Eastern Conference downed the West 134-128.

2007 (Las Vegas)
Kobe's 31 points gives West victory in Vegas
Kobe Bryant lit up the Las Vegas strip with 31 points to earn the MVP as the West romped past the East 153-132 at the first-ever All-Star game held outside an NBA city.

More All-Star History >>
All-Star game results & MVPs (1951-2012) >>

NBA ALL-STAR GAME RESULTS

Click on the All-Star game results below for complete All-Star rosters, coaches, game recaps and weekend event winners for every year.

Year Result MVP Location
2012 West 152, East 149 Kevin Durant Orlando, Fla.
2011 West 148, East 143 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles, Calif.
2010 East 141, West 139 Dwyane Wade Arlington, Texas
2009 West 146, East 119 Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal Phoenix, Ariz.
2008 East 134, West 128 LeBron James New Orleans, La.
2007 West 153, East 132 Kobe Bryant Las Vegas, Nev.
2006 East 122, West 120 LeBron James Houston, Texas
2005 East 125, West 115 Allen Iverson Denver, Colo.
2004 West 136, East 132 Shaquille O'Neal Los Angeles, Calif.
2003 West 155, East 145 (2OT) Kevin Garnett Atlanta, Ga.
2002 West 135, East 120 Kobe Bryant Philadelphia, Pa.
2001 East 111, West 110 Allen Iverson Washington, D.C.
2000 West 137, East 126 Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal Oakland, Calif.
1998 East 135, West 114 Michael Jordan New York, N.Y.
1997 East 132, West 120 Glen Rice Cleveland, Ohio
1996 East 129, West 118 Michael Jordan San Antonio, Texas
1995 West 139, East 112 Mitch Richmond Phoenix, Ariz.
1994 East 127, West 118 Scottie Pippen Minneapolis, Minn.
1993 West 135, East 132 (OT) Karl Malone, John Stockton Salt Lake City, Utah
1992 West 153, East 113 Magic Johnson Orlando, Fla.
1991 East 116, West 114 Charles Barkley Charlotte, N.C.
1990 East 130, West 113 Magic Johnson Miami, Fla.
1989 West 143, East 134 Karl Malone Houston, Texas
1988 East 138, West 133 Michael Jordan Chicago, Ill.
1987 West 154, East 149 (OT) Tom Chambers Seattle, Wash.
1986 East 139, West 132 Isiah Thomas Dallas, Texas
1985 West 140, East 129 Ralph Sampson Indianapolis, Ind.
1984 East 154, West 145 (OT) Isiah Thomas Denver, Colo.
1983 East 132, West 123 Julius Erving Inglewood, Calif.
1982 East 120, West 118 Larry Bird East Rutherford, N.J.
1981 East 123, West 120 Tiny Archibald Richfield, Ohio
1980 East 144, West 136 (OT) George Gervin Landover, Md.
1979 West 134, East 129 David Thompson Detroit, Mich.
1978 East 133, West 125 Randy Smith Atlanta, Ga.
1977 West 125, East 124 Julius Erving Milwaukee, Wisc.
1976 East 123, West 109 Dave Bing Philadelphia, Pa.
1975 East 108, West 102 Walt Frazier Phoenix, Ariz.
1974 West 134, East 123 Bob Lanier San Antonio, Texas
1973 East 104, West 84 Dave Cowens Chicago, Ill.
1972 West 112, East 110 Jerry West Inglewood, Calif.
1971 West 108, East 107 Lenny Wilkens San Diego, Calif.
1970 East 142, West 135 Willis Reed Philadelphia, Pa.
1969 East 123, West 112 Oscar Robertson Baltimore, Md.
1968 East 144, West 124 Hal Greer New York, N.Y.
1967 West 135, East 120 Rick Barry San Francisco, Calif.
1966 East 137, West 94 Adrian Smith Cincinnati, Ohio
1965 East 124, West 123 Jerry Lucas St. Louis, Mo.
1964 East 111, West 107 Oscar Robertson Boston, Mass.
1963 East 115, West 108 Bill Russell Los Angeles, Calif.
1962 West 150, East 130 Bob Pettit St. Louis, Mo.
1961 West 153, East 131 Oscar Robertson Syracuse, N.Y.
1960 East 125, West 115 Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia, Pa.
1959 West 124, East 108 Elgin Baylor, Bob Pettit Detroit, Mich.
1958 East 130, West 118 Bob Pettit St. Louis, Mo.
1957 East 109, West 97 Bob Cousy Boston, Mass.
1956 West 108, East 94 Bob Pettit Rochester, N.Y.
1955 East 100, West 91 Bill Sharman New York, N.Y.
1954 East 98, West 93 (OT) Bob Cousy New York, N.Y.
1953 West 79, East 75 George Mikan Ft. Wayne, Ind.
1952 East 108, West 91 Paul Arizin Boston, Mass.
1951 East 111, West 94 Ed Macauley Boston, Mass.
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