2023 All-Star

2023 All-Star Game: Jayson Tatum makes history, leads Team Giannis to victory

After the All-Star Draft takes place directly before the game for the 1st time, Jayson Tatum's record 55 points earns him the Kobe Bryant MVP trophy.

Jayson Tatum scores an All-Star Game record 55 points to lead Team Giannis to the win.

• All-Star Game winner: Team Giannis

SALT LAKE CITY — An All-Star Game that featured a beginning never seen before produced a halftime and an overall game that made it one of the NBA’s more memorable recent showcases.

Team Giannis defeated Team LeBron 184-175 in an All-Star Game that saw Jayson Tatum collect MVP honors, scoring 55 points on 22-for-31 shooting to set the record for the most points scored in an All-Star Game.

The game also featured the first playground-style pregame draft headed up by All-Star captains Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James.

This was the first All-Star Game in which Team LeBron was defeated and much of that success for Team Giannis came in the second half, after James was removed following a hand injury. Tatum provided the spark in the second half, scoring an All-Star record 27 points in the third quarter and adding another 18 in the fourth quarter to power the win. He also finished with 10 rebounds and six assists.

This All-Star Game started off and operated at the typical pace: lots of 3-point attempts and drives to the basket with little to no resistance. In the third quarter, both teams amped up their offense, with Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum of Team Giannis thrilling the crowd with their shooting.

That trio shot a combined 15-for-23 on 3-pointers in that quarter with several key moments taking place. First, Lillard sank a pullup shot from a step behind halfcourt that sent the fans into a frenzy. Then, late in the quarter, Tatum and Team LeBron’s Jaylen Brown — Tatum’s Celtics teammate — spent the end of the quarter going 1-on-1, draining 3-pointers over each other on back-to-back possessions.

At halftime, James was honored with an elaborate ceremony for becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer on Feb. 8. In it, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — whom he passed to get to No. 1 — and Jazz legend Karl Malone (the NBA’s No. 3 all-time scorer) shared an embrace with James after he was honored for his feat.

As for the draft, Antetokounmpo went first and James second as they took turns picking their squads from the available list of reserves, then reversed order for picking starters.

James surprised the crowd by drafting his former teammate, Kyrie Irving, with his second pick among the starters, drawing some cheers … and boos. In a bit of All-Star draft irony, two players essentially traded for each other — Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell and Utah’s Lauri Markkanen — were picked as teammates on Team Giannis.

Neither James nor Antetokounmpo played in the full game. Antetokounmpo started and scored the game’s first points on a dunk 15 seconds into the game. Nursing a hand injury suffered prior to the weekend festivities, Antetokounmpo then committed a foul and was replaced by Bam Adebayo. James played the first half and finished with 13 points, four rebounds and an assist in 14 minutes, but was ruled out for the second half with a right hand contusion.

— Jeff Case

2023 All-Star Game

Team LeBron roster

  • LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) [CAPTAIN] ~
  • Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) ~
  • Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) ~
  • Kyrie Irving (Dallas Mavericks) ~
  • Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) ~
  • Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves) +
  • Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
  • Paul George (LA Clippers)
  • Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
  • Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
  • De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings) +
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies)

Team Giannis roster

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) [CAPTAIN] ~
  • Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz) ~
  • Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers) ~
  • Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) ~
  • Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) ~
  • Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • DeMar Derozan (Chicago Bulls)
  • Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors) +
  • Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
  • Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)

+ = Injury Replacement
^ = Injured, did not play

~ = Starter

How did the All-Star Draft work?

The process started with the captains, who were determined by the All-Star voting results. The leader for each conference, LeBron James (West) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (East) gets to select his squad and have the team named after him.

Team LeBron had the first pick since James was the overall leading vote-getter in the All-Star balloting process. However, in the reserves portion of the draft, Antetokounmpo had the first pick and James had the first pick among the starters.

The captains took turns drafting from the pool of 22 players voted into the All-Star field — first, they selected from the 14 All-Star reserves, then from the eight All-Star starters. Conference affiliation did not matter during the draft process.

Team LeBron

Reserve picks (in order)

  • Anthony Edwards
  • Jaylen Brown
  • Paul George
  • Tyrese Haliburton
  • Julius Randle
  • De’Aaron Fox
  • Jaren Jackson Jr.

Starter picks (in order)

  • Joel Embiid
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Luka Doncic
  • Nikola Jokic

Team Giannis

Reserve picks (in order)

  • Damian Lillard
  • Jrue Holiday
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • Pascal Siakam
  • Bam Adebayo
  • Domantas Sabonis

Starter picks (in order)

  • Jayson Tatum
  • Ja Morant
  • Donovan Mitchell
  • Lauri Markkanen

How are the All-Stars starters and captains selected?

Fans account for 50% of the vote to determine the starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Current NBA players and a media panel account for 25% each.

The team captains, LeBron James (West) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (East) were the All-Star starters from each conference who received the most fan votes in his conference. The starters were announced on Jan. 26.

Eastern Conference starters

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) [CAPTAIN]
  • Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets) ^
  • Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) ~
  • Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
  • Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)

Western Conference starters

  • LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) [CAPTAIN]
  • Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
  • Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)~
  • Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)~
  • Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) ^
  • Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) ^
  • Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

^ = Injured, will not play
~ = Starter replacement

How are the All-Star reserves selected?

The 30 NBA coaches select the 14 reserves, voting for two guards, three frontcourt players and two players at any position in their respective conferences.

The 14 reserves for the 2023 All-Star Game were announced on Feb. 2 and joined the player pool for Team LeBron and Team Giannis.

Western Conference reserves

  • Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves) +
  • De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings) +
  • Paul George (LA Clippers)
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
  • Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)

Eastern Conference

  • Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
  • Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
  • DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)
  • Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
  • Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
  • Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors) +

+ = Injury Replacement

Update: Anthony Edwards, De’Aaron Fox and Pascal Siakam named as injury replacements

What happens if a player is injured and unable to participate in the All-Star Game?

Commissioner Silver selects the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, choosing a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Silver’s selection would join the team that drafted the replaced player.

When an All-Star starter is unable to participate in the NBA All-Star Game before the NBA All-Star Draft takes place, he is replaced in the starter pool for the Draft by the All-Star reserve from the same conference and of the same position group who had the highest weighted ranking in the voting for All-Star starters.  The starter replacements are Joel Embiid for Kevin Durant (who was in the Eastern Conference frontcourt group at the time of the voting), Lauri Markkanen for Zion Williamson and Ja Morant for Steph Curry.

When is the All-Star Draft? 

For the first time, the NBA All-Star Draft took place right before the game. The two team captains, LeBron and Giannis, drafted the team rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference.

Who coaches the All-Star Game?

The coaches for each team are determined by the standings two weeks before the All-Star Game. The coaching staff for the East and West leaders is matched with the captain from the respective conference. However, if the leading coaching staff coached the previous All-Star game, then the second place coaching staff is selected.

This year, the coaches are Joe Mazzulla (Celtics / Team Giannis) and Michael Malone (Nuggets / Team LeBron).

Are there any special rules or format for the All-Star Game?

Yes. The biggest difference from a “normal” NBA game is the introduction of a “target score” to determine the winner. Each All-Star team will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with the score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set.

The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points – the 24 representing Kobe Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career. The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first team to reach the Final Target Score will win the NBA All-Star Game.

For instance, if the cumulative score of the first three quarters is 100-95, the Final Target Score would be set at 124 points. To win the NBA All-Star Game, the team with 100 points would need to score 24 points in the fourth quarter before the team with 95 points scores 29 points, and vice versa. With no minimum or maximum time on the clock in the fourth quarter, the NBA All-Star Game will end with a made basket or a made free throw.

How will the All-Star Game support the community?

Every quarter of the NBA All-Star Game will count toward supporting two community-based organizations in Utah.

Team LeBron will play for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, which creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Team Giannis will play for Raise the Future, which aims to decrease the number of youth in foster care and increase the chances of lifelong connection by providing trauma-healing services to young people and families.

A total of $750,000 will be contributed to the two organizations through the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA All-Star Practice presented by AT&T