1971 NBA All-Star recap

Lenny Wilkens scores 21 points off the bench on 8-for-11 shooting to lead the West past the West 108-107.

WEST 108, EAST 107, at San Diego Sports Arena


MVP: Lenny Wilkens, Seattle SuperSonics

Box score

Always one of the most steady guards in NBA history, Lenny Wilkens’ influence was felt in a back-and-forth All-Star Game in 1971 at the San Diego Sports Arena. The Sonics guard came off the bench to score a game-high 21 points and help the West to a 108-107 win with timely shooting and aggressive play.

After starting guards Jerry West (five points, nine assists) and Dave Bing (four points) struggled, Wilkens and reserve Bob Love of the Bulls stepped in to help key the victory. For the East, Willis Reed was solid in his final All-Star Game apperance, netting 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Three expansion teams in 1970-71 — the Buffalo Braves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers — fielded their first-ever All-Stars in franchise history in this game.

Forward-center Bob Kauffman represented the Braves (now known as the L.A. Clippers), forward John Johnson was the Cavs’ representative and guard Geoff Petrie was the Blazers’ representative.

All-Star Game rosters

Eastern Conference

Billy Cunningham (Philadelphia 76ers)

John Havlicek (Boston Celtics)

Willis Reed (New York Knicks)

Walt Frazier (New York Knicks)

Earl Monroe (Baltimore Bullets)

Gus Johnson (Baltimore Bullets)

Wes Unseld (Baltimore Bullets)

Tom Van Arsdale (Cincinnati Royals)

Johnny Green (Cincinnati Royals)

Jo Jo White (Boston Celtics)

Dave DeBusschere (New York Knicks)

Lou Hudson (Atlanta Hawks)

Bob Kauffman (Buffalo Braves)

John Johnson (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Coach: Red Holzman (New York Knicks)

Western Conference

Jerry West (L.A. Lakers)

Dave Bing (Detroit Pistons)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee Bucks)

Jerry Lucas (San Francisco Warriors)

Connie Hawkins (Phoenix Suns)

Dick Van Arsdale (Phoenix Suns)

Oscar Robertson (Milwaukee Bucks)

Bob Love (Chicago Bulls)

Chet Walker (Chicago Bulls)

Lenny Wilkens (Seattle SuperSonics)

Elvin Hayes (San Diego Rockets)

Wilt Chamberlain (L.A. Lakers)

Geoff Petrie (Portland Trail Blazers)

Jeff Mullins (San Francisco Warriors)

Coach: Larry Costello (Milwaukee Bucks)