EAST 163, WEST 155, New Orleans Arena (New Orleans)
MVP: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
In a city where overindulgence is virtually an art form, the NBA All-Star Game is the perfect canvas.
From a thunderclap LeBron James reverse jam off an alley-oop feed to a Blake Griffin wind-up windmill slam that likely blew out candles in the French Quarter, it was the basketball version of a second line parade.
A night that began with Pharrell Williams, Sean Diddy Combs, Nelly, Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg laying down beats ended with the East’s Kyrie Irving putting the final beatdown on the West in a victory that was the highest scoring All-Star Game in history.
Irving made 14 of 17 shots to score 31 points and also dealt 14 assists in becoming the youngest player ever to win the MVP just two seasons after he took the same honor in the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend.
Griffin set the record for most field goals made (19) in the game and most (nine) in a single quarter. Kevin Durant’s 27 shots attempted tied the record.
It was James delivering a message on the opening possession that the East meant business by throwing down a no-nonsense dunk. It was Magic Johnson leading a Hall of Fame quartet that included Julius Erving, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler and the entire in-house crowd at the Smoothie King Center into an impromptu serenade of “Happy Birthday” to 80-year-old legend Bill Russell, who appeared genuinely touched.
The All-Star newcomers also included official Violet Palmer, who became the first female to referee a major U.S. sports league’s All-Star game.
All-Star Game rosters
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
LeBron James (Miami Heat)
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers)
Joe Johnson (Brooklyn Nets)
Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks)
Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)
John Wall (Washington Wizards)
Coach: Frank Vogel (Pacers)
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Blake Griffin (LA Clippers)
Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) **
Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)
Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)
Chris Paul (LA Clippers)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) *
Coach: Scott Brooks (Thunder)
All-Star Weekend Wrap
Slam Dunk Contest: John Wall, Washington Wizards
3-point Contest: Marco Belinelli, San Antonio Spurs
Skills Challenge: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers and Trey Burke, Utah Jazz
Shooting Stars: Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash
Rising Stars Challenge: Team Hill 142, Team Webber 136
Rising Stars MVP: Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons (30 points, 25 rebounds)
NOTE: * = missed game due to injury; ** = injury replacement