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Irving leads Team Chuck to BBVA Rising Stars game win

Posted Jan 31 2012 1:34PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Kyrie Irving kicked off the aerial display with an alley-oop to Paul George. Cleveland's rookie point guard then showed off his long-range shooting skills.

It was so much fun that Irving wasn't too upset that all those 3-pointers came in a meaningless game.

Irving was a perfect 8 for 8 from beyond the arc and finished with 34 points, helping Team Chuck beat Team Shaq 146-133 in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday.

Indiana's George added 23 points but the night belonged to Irving, who picked up where another No. 1 overall pick left off in the NBA's showcase game for its first- and second-year players. Wizards point guard John Wall earned MVP honors last season when he was a rookie.

Irving said he couldn't remember being so hot from the field.

"No, it's never occurred in my career," he said. "You know, it's kind of unfortunate that it comes in the All-Star game. These stats don't carry over into the season. But at the end of the day, it was still fun to get out there with those talented guys. So it was a great experience."

Cleveland's Tristan Thompson scored 20 points to lead Team Shaq. New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin only had two points.

Powell: Lin's minimal play not by accident

This year's BBVA Rising Stars Challenge had a different format, with the rookie and second-year players mixed together on teams for the first time. The league also inserted a little more name recognition with former stars Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley serving as general managers and drafting the teams.

While the teams had a different look, there was once again no real defensive effort and plenty of fan-pleasing fast breaks and flashy play.

"It's what All-Star games are, there's not a lot of defense," Team Chuck co-head coach Maurice Cheeks said.

Lin had a relatively quiet night. His biggest highlight came early in the second half when he took a pass from Minnesota star Ricky Rubio and drove it underneath for a reverse layup.

He played just nine minutes before heading to the bench in the second half, and instead mostly yielded to the more high-flying players on his team. He took just four shots.

Landry Fields, who plays with Lin on the Knicks, remained his biggest fan, holding a "Linsanity" Time magazine cover featuring him.

"It was fun to be out there with all these guys, and this guy right here (pointing to magazine) did his thing," Fields said. "Short minutes, but he still did his thing."

Irving got the game off to a rousing start with the pass to George, and Rubio turned routine passes to his Shaq teammates into behind-the-back and between-the-leg looks.

It was part of an acrobatic early tone that was fast-paced and allowed the next generation of stars to showcase open-court and aerial skills that have already made many of them fan favorites on their respective teams.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin had several highlights while playing for Team Shaq, catching several alley-oops and even throwing his own pass off the glass and catching it for a dunk.

"There were a lot of dunks," Team Shaq co-head coach Ron Adams said. "I think the guys had fun. I hope we didn't set a Guinness Book of World Records record for dunks given, but it was a fun game. Interesting game."

Team Shaq

Blake Griffin
, LA Clippers
Jeremy Lin, NY Knicks
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
Landry Fields, NY Knicks
Norris Cole, Miami Heat
Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons

Team Chuck

Kyrie Irving
, Cleveland Cavaliers
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
MarShon Brooks, NJ Nets
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs (out with injury)
Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz

-- Official event news release
-- Roster pool announcement news release
-- Post-Draft news release


College teammates Wall, Cousins lead Rooks to victory
When John Wall turned the Rookie Challenge into a personal playmaking clinic, his former Kentucky teammate and his fellow No. 1 pick eagerly soaked up everything he had to give.

Wall racked up a record 22 assists to win the MVP award, Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins had 33 points and 14 rebounds, and the rookies rallied to beat the sophomores 148-140 at the NBA's All-Star weekend Friday night. (AP)

Rooks break Sophomore string

As if their season-long race for the first year honors wasn't already close enough, Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings brought their duel to the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge.

Evans rolled up 26 points, six rebounds and five assists, Jennings scored 22 points with eight assists and six rebounds and together they led the Rookies to a 140-128 win over the Sophomores. The win ended a string of seven straight by the Sophomores, the first time the Rookies came out on top since 2002.

Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City scored 40 points for the Sophomores.

Durant keeps Sophomore streak alive

Kevin Durant scored a Rookie Challenge record 46 points on 17-for-25 shooting and was named MVP as he almost single-handedly sent the Sophomores to a 122-116 win at the U.S. Airways Center.

"I play with the guy, I see him do it every night," said Jeff Green. "He's a tremendous player."

Gibson's triples lifts Sophomores

Sophomore sharpshooter Daniel Gibson gave the Rookies 11 good reasons why experience pays off. The Cavs' combo guard nailed a record 11 3-pointers in his 20 attempts and scored 33 points as the Sophomores beat the Rookies 136-109 in the 2008 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam at New Orleans Arena. The Sophmores' victory was their sixth straight over the Rookies.

Lee perfect in Sophomore win

David Lee hit all 14 of his field-goal attempts for a game-high 30 points as the Sophomore beat the Rookies for the fifth consecutive year, 155-114. Lee, who added 11 rebounds and four assists, was named MVP of the 2007 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. Chris Paul notched rookie-game records of 17 assists and nine steals to go with 16 points. Rudy Gay and Paul Millsap paced the Rookie squad with 22 points apiece.

More All-Star History >>
All Rookie Challenge results >>

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