2018 NBA All-Star recap
LeBron James scored 29 points and hit the go-ahead layup with 34.5 seconds to play to lift Team LeBron past Team Steph.
From NBA.com Staff
Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145, Staples Center (Los Angeles)
MVP: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
The 2018 All-Star Game was one like no other in the history of the league.
LeBron James scored 29 points and hit the go-ahead layup with 34.5 seconds to play, winning his third All-Star Game MVP award while his team rallied to win an uncommonly entertaining edition of the event, beating Team Stephen, 148-145.
For the first time in 67 All-Star games, the league abandoned the traditional East-West format used since 1951, instead allowing the two captains to pick their sides. Those captains — James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry — provided a twist that turned a sometimes staid event into the world’s richest pickup game. The intrigue was reflected on the Staples Center court, where a real basketball game broke out.
Both teams played real defense for long stretches and contested many shots, with LeBron’s group even picking up full-court late in the first half.
And after an entertaining dunk contest won by Donovan Mitchell and a record-setting effort by Devin Booker in the 3-Point Contest, the All-Star weekend ended with a recent novelty for the main event: a thrilling finish.
Team LeBron rallied from an 11-point deficit with six minutes to play, finishing the game on a 25-11 run. James tied it at 144-144 on a step-back 3-pointer with 1:31 to play.
LA native DeMar DeRozan hit one free throw to put Team Steph back ahead, but LeBron claimed the lead with his layup after some sharp passing by his teammates. DeRozan then made a turnover on an attempted pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Russell Westbrook broke out for a layup with 10.7 seconds left.
Team Steph had one last chance, but even the usually unguardable Curry couldn’t elude James and Kevin Durant, who forced him to give up the ball to DeRozan, who couldn’t score over Durant’s arm in his face.
Curry finished with 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting.
Each member of the winning team made a cool $100,000, a distinct raise from previous seasons in another attempt to make things more interesting.
“It was better,” said Team Steph’s Klay Thompson, who scored all 15 of his points on 3-pointers in his fourth All-Star Game. “At the end, it was 100 percent. Throughout the game, it was probably 70, but guys were competitive and they really wanted to win that game.”
All-Star Game rosters
LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder) **
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons) **
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers)
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets) **
Goran Dragic (Miami Heat) **
LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs)
DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans) *
Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers) *
Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks) *
John Wall (Washington Wizards) *
Coach: Dwane Casey (Toronto Raptors)
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Al Horford (Boston Celtics)
Jimmy Butler (Minnesota Timberwolves) — DNP (CD)
Coach: Mike D’Antoni (Houston Rockets)
All-Star Weekend Wrap
Slam Dunk Contest: Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
3-point Contest: Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Skills Challenge: Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets
Rising Stars Challenge: World 155, USA 124
Rising Stars MVP: Bogdan Bogdanovic (26 points)
NOTE: * = missed game due to injury; ** = injury replacement