1978 NBA All-Star recap

Randy Smith finds a groove during the 1978 All-Star Game, leading the East to victory.

EAST 133, WEST 125, at The Omni (Atlanta)


MVP: Randy Smith, Buffalo Braves

Box score

Some nights at the All-Star Game, a player is simply on fire. Randy Smith’s performance in 1978 was the personification of just such a notion. Smith scored 27 points off the bench (on 11-for-14 shooting) and nailed deep buzzer-beaters at the end of each quarter in the first half in the East’s 133-125 win at The Omni in Atlanta.

Bill Walton, Portland’s standout center, started for the West after missing the 1977 All-Star Game due to injury. He finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks in the only All-Star Game he played in.

In addition to Walton, two other future Hall of Fame big men made their All-Star debuts: Moses Malone and Artis Gilmore. Malone, playing in his second NBA season after two seasons in the ABA, scored four points for the East. Gilmore, also in his second NBA season after a decorated ABA career, had 10 points in 13 minutes for the West. While those two got their first All-Star taste, two NBA MVPs — Dave Cowens and Rick Barry — played in their final All-Star Game in 1978.

All-Star Game rosters

Eastern Conference

George Gervin (San Antonio Spurs)

John Havlicek (Boston Celtics)

Dave Cowens (Boston Celtics)

Julius Erving (Philadelphia 76ers)

Larry Kenon (San Antonio Spurs)

Truck Robinson (New Orleans Jazz)

Randy Smith (Buffalo Braves)

Doug Collins (Philadelphia 76ers)

Bob McAdoo (New York Knicks)

Moses Malone (Houston Rockets)

Elvin Hayes (Washington Bullets)

Pete Maravich (New Orleans Jazz) *

Coach: Billy Cunningham (76ers)

Western Conference

Paul Westphal (Phoenix Suns)

David Thompson (Denver Nuggets)

Bill Walton (Portland Trail Blazers)

Rick Barry (Golden State Warriors)

Maurice Lucas (Portland Trail Blazers)

Bobby Jones (Denver Nuggets)

Lionel Hollins (Portland Trail Blazers)

Walter Davis (Phoenix Suns)

Brian Winters (Milwaukee Bucks)

Artis Gilmore (Chicago Bulls)

Bob Lanier (Detroit Pistons)

Coach: Jack Ramsey (Blazers)

NOTE: * = missed game due to injury; ** = injury replacement