EAST 144, West 136 (OT), at Capital Centre (Md.)
MVP: George Gervin (San Antonio Spurs)
For the second straight year at the All-Star Game, a former ABA standout took home MVP honors. Following in the footsteps of Denver’s David Thompson the season before, George Gervin scored 34 points and collected 10 rebounds as the East held off the West 144-136 in overtime at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md.
Aside from Gervin’s MVP performance, the West’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar set two records in this game: most blocked shots in an All-Star Game (six) and most blocked shots in a half (four). He was close to recording a triple-double in the game, finishing with 17 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists.
Perhaps most notable from this game, though, were the All-Star debuts of two future icons of the NBA: the Celtics’ Larry Bird and the Lakers’ Magic Johnson. Though Bird (who was a reserve for the East) finished with just seven points, he put his name in the record books as he hit the first 3-pointer in All-Star Game history. Johnson had a more notable performance, finishing with 12 points, four assists and three steals as a starter for the West.
Another future Hall of Famer, Adrian Dantley, made his All-Star debut in this game. He finished with 23 points and five rebounds for the West as he became the first All-Star for the Jazz in their Utah era. Elvin Hayes wrapped up his All-Star career, finishing with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists off the East bench.
All-Star Game rosters
George Gervin (San Antonio Spurs)
Eddie Johnson (Atlanta Hawks)
Moses Malone (Houston Rockets)
Julius Erving (Philadelphia 76ers)
John Drew (Atlanta Hawks)
Dan Roundfield (Atlanta Hawks)
Larry Bird (Boston Celtics)
Tiny Archibald (Boston Celtics)
Elvin Hayes (Washington Bullets)
Bill Cartwright (New York Knicks)
Michael Ray Richardson (New York Knicks)
Coach: Billy Cunningham (Philadelphia 76ers)
Magic Johnson (L.A. Lakers)
World B. Free (San Diego Clippers)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L.A. Lakers)
Marques Johnson (Milwaukee Bucks)
Adrian Dantley (Utah Jazz)
Jack Sikma (Seattle SuperSonics)
Dennis Johnson (Seattle SuperSonics)
Paul Westphal (Phoenix Suns)
Walter Davis (Phoenix Suns)
Kermit Washington (Portland Trail Blazers)**
Scott Wedman (Kansas City Kings)*
Otis Birdsong (Kansas City Kings)
Coach: Lenny Wilkens (Seattle SuperSonics)
NOTE: * = missed game due to injury; ** = injury replacement