WEST 143, EAST 138, At Toyota Center (Houston)
MVP: Chris Paul
Playing with the best of the best, Kevin Durant shows up year after year, does what he does best and makes it look as easy as falling out of bed. The Thunder forward poured in 30 points to top all scorers, leading the West to a victory over the East.
It was the third consecutive win for the Western Conference and, not coincidentally, Durant became the first player in history to score 30 or more points in three straight All-Star Games.
In the end, though, it was definitely Chris Paul’s type of game as the Clippers’ point guard played with the ball all night like it was a yo-yo on a string. He made 7 of his 10 shots to finish with 20 points and 15 assists, and for most of the night looked like a maestro conducting a personal symphony and was voted the game’s MVP. If Paul wasn’t tossing lob passes for six of Clippers teammate Blake Griffin’s seven slam dunks, he was dropping off slick feeds as he darted through the lane or dribbling the ball through the legs of an often befuddled Chris Bosh.
Miami’s Bosh played the role of hapless shooter on offense and victim on defense for most of the night, hoisting up three air balls in the first half and twice getting beat when Paul and then the Spurs’ Tony Parker dribbled the ball right between his legs.
The evening will be partly remembered for a pair of fourth-quarter blocks by Kobe Bryant on LeBron James. The swats brought gasps from the crowd and probably had 50-year-old birthday boy Michael Jordan puffing a little harder on that postgame victory cigar, as earlier in the week he had come down hard in the middle of the “Kobe-or-LeBron?” debate.
Two of Houston’s biggest basketball stars, Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming, who was honored after the first quarter, and Olympic gold medalists Usain Bolt and Gabby Douglas were among the athletes who weren’t in the game.
All-Star Game rosters
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
LeBron James (Miami Heat)
Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics)
Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics)
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks)
Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls)
Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers)
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Brook Lopez (Brooklyn Nets)
Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)
Coach: Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat)
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Blake Griffin (LA Clippers)
Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Chris Paul (LA Clippers)
LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers)
Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
David Lee (Golden State Warriors)
Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)
Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies)
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Coach: Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs)
All-Star Weekend Wrap
Slam Dunk Contest: Terrence Ross, Cleveland Cavaliers
3-point Contest: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Shooting Stars: Chris Bosh, Swin Cash and Dominique Wilkins
Rising Stars Challenge: Team Chuck 163, Team Shaq 135
Rising Stars MVP: Kenneth Faried (40 points, 10 rebounds)