WEST 163, EAST 158, At Madison Square Garden (New York)
MVP: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Madison Square Garden hosted its first All-Star weekend since 1998 and in the finale of the festivities, Russell Westbrook put a fitting bow on it all.
Although he wasn’t a starter in the All-Star Game, Westbrook scored 41 points — at the time one point shy of the single-game scoring mark at the All-Star Game — as the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 163-158. En route to All-Star Game MVP honors, Westbrook had 27 points by halftime and fell one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s 42-point effort in the 1962 game.
James Harden added 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the West, which built a 20-point lead in the first half and then pulled away after it was tied at 148 with a little more than four minutes remaining. The combined 321 points surpassed the 318 scored in 2014 and there were a barrage of 3-pointers as well. The teams combined for 48 3-pointers, destroying the record of 30 set in 2014 as well.
LeBron James finished with 30 points but couldn’t lead the East to the victory in his favorite NBA arena. Atlanta’s Kyle Korver made seven 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the East, while Washington’s John Wall had 19.
Entertaining moments abounded in the All-Star Game as Christina Aguilera belted out New York-inspired numbers in the pregame ceremony, players were quizzed in comedic skits about New York talk and terms and even the jump ball was historic.
Pau Gasol won the jump ball against little brother Marc to begin the first All-Star Game featuring two sibling starters. The hometown Knicks’ lone All-Star, Carmelo Anthony, struggled to 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting for the East.
Historically speaking, Tim Duncan appeared in this game and scored a basket in what was his 15th All-Star Game appearance. That moved him to second on the all-time All-Star Game appearances list, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (18).
Kobe Bryant had to sit out along with Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin, leaving the West without three elected starters. But they had more than enough talent left, not surprising in another season where the West showed it was the most powerful conference at the NBA’s midseason classic.
All-Star Game rosters
LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
John Wall (Washington Wizards)
Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls)
Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks) **
Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks)
Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks)
Jeff Teague (Atlanta Hawks)
Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) *
Coach: Mike Budenholzer (Hawks)
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies)
Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers)
Chris Paul (LA Clippers)
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs)
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) **
Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) **
DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) **
Blake Griffin (LA Clippers) *
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) *
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) *
Coach: Steve Kerr (Warriors)
All-Star Weekend Wrap
Slam Dunk Contest: Zach LaVine, Minnesota Timberwolves
3-point Contest: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Skills Challenge: Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
Rising Stars Challenge: World 121, USA 112
Rising Stars MVP: Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves (22 points)
NOTE: * = missed game due to injury; ** = injury replacement