2022 All-Star

Taking a closer look at NBA All-Star Game's records

Will the All-Star record book be rewritten after Sunday’s contest between Team LeBron and Team Durant?

Check out this compilation of the faces of the members of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team!

On Sunday night in Cleveland, the NBA’s midseason celebration of the game will culminate in the 71st NBA All-Star Game as Team LeBron takes on Team Durant for the second consecutive season.

During halftime of the All-Star Game, the league will honor the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team with players from every decade of the NBA’s existence in attendance for the diamond anniversary. The 76 players that make up the anniversary team — including six that are 2022 All-Stars — have combined for 736 All-Star selections and 64 All-Star MVP winners.

When we dig into the All-Star record book, the legends of the past and present that will be honored in Cleveland on Sunday take center stage. Here are a few that stand out most.

LeBron’s connection to No. 18

LeBron James will play in his 18th All-Star Game on Sunday — more on that in a minute — and will add to his already commanding lead as the all-time leading scorer in All-Star Game history with 389 total points. That mark is 99 points higher than second-ranked Kobe Bryant and 149 points higher than Kevin Durant — the only other active player in the top five.

The number 18 is key to some of the history that LeBron will set on Sunday. He is tied with Kobe Bryant for the second-most All-Star selections ever — only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has more (19). LeBron also ties Kobe for the most consecutive All-Star selections as LeBron has been voted in as a starter (and played) every year since 2005. This will be LeBron’s 18th All-Star Game played (tying Kareem for most ever) and his 18th consecutive start (pushing him five ahead of second-ranked Bob Cousy with 13). And finally, when LeBron steps on the court on Sunday, he will be the 18th oldest player to ever play in the All-Star Game at 37 years and 52 days old.

Antetokounmpo’s sky-high scoring average

LeBron may have scored more points than any other All-Star ever, but he does not hold the record for highest scoring average. That belongs to Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has scored 144 points in five All-Star Games for an average of 28.8 points per game — nearly four points better than any other player that has appeared in at least three games or scored at least 60 points.

Some epic, high-scoring performances

There are 11 active players on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team and five of them are among the top six scorers in NBA All-Star history as Oscar Robertson is the only retired player on this list. When looking at the combined scores of some of the recent All-Star Games this makes a bit more sense. There have been 10 All-Star Games in history in which the two teams combined for at least 300 points — seven of which have come in the past eight seasons.

Year Game Result Combined Score
2017 West 192, East 182 374
2016 West 196, East 173 369
2019 LeBron 178, Giannis 164 342
2015 West 163, East 158 321
2021 LeBron 170, Durant 150 320
2014 East 163, West 155 318
2020 LeBron 157, Giannis 155 312
1987 West 154, East 149 (OT) 303
2012 West 152, East 149 301
2003 West 155, East 145 (2OT) 300

The offensive numbers posted in those 2016 and 2017 All-Star Games are staggering, and it should come as little surprise that they delivered some of the best individual performances in the All-Star Game’s history. After holding All-Star single-game scoring record for 55 years, Wilt Chamberlain’s benchmark of 42 points was shattered as Anthony Davis scored 52 points to set the new standard for players to chase.

It is one of just six 40-plus point games in All-Star Game history as Davis and Chamberlain are joined by Paul George, Russell Westbrook (the only player with multiple 40+ point performances in the All-Star Game) and Michael Jordan.

The West prevailed over the East 192-182 led by All-Star MVP Anthony Davis, who scored a record 52 points.

Davis scored his 52 points on 26-39 (66.7%) shooting from the field — setting All-Star records for both field goals made and attempted — as he scored those 52 points without a single free throw or 3-pointer. Davis did finish with a double-double as he added 10 rebounds in his 32 minutes, but he did not record an assist, as he told his teammates prior to the game that he was going for the MVP in front of his home fans in New Orleans as a member of the Pelicans at the time.

While Davis had a strong shooting night in his record-breaking performance, it doesn’t come close to matching what Giannis Antetokounmpo last year as a member of Team LeBron. Giannis scored 35 points in just 19 minutes as he was a perfect 16-for-16 from the field, including three 3-pointers, as he led Team LeBron to a 170-150 win and earned the Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP trophy for the first time in his career.

Giannis has a long way to go to challenge the record of four All-Star MVPs held by both Kobe and Bob Pettit. But one player that isn’t too far off from that mark is LeBron, who has won three All-Star MVPs (2006, ’08, ’18). Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are the only other active players with multiple All-Star MVPs as the former teammates have two apiece.

As we look at the single-game record holders in each major statistical category, we see Pettit holds the mark for most rebounds in an All-Star Game with 27, which isn’t surprising when you hear him talk about how his mindset was different than many of his peers at All-Star. He didn’t see it as a time to just relax and have fun: he saw the All-Star Game as a chance to compete against all the game’s best players and prove himself.

Category Record Mark Player Year
Points 52 Anthony Davis 2017
Rebounds 27 Bob Pettit 1962
Assists 22 Magic Johnson 1984
Steals 8 Rick Barry 1975
Blocks 6 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1980
FG Made 26 Anthony Davis 2017
3P Made 9 Paul George 2016
FT Made (tie) 12 Elgin Baylor 1962
FT Made (tie) 12 Oscar Robertson 1965

Leading the way in other categories

Another name on the single-game leaders list that isn’t very shocking is Magic Johnson holding the mark for the most assists with 22 dimes in the 1984 All-Star Game. The orchestrator of “Showtime” is the perfect player to see play in an All-Star Game. Magic also held the mark for the most total assists in All-Star Game history (127) until last season when he was passed by Chris Paul (128). Paul is also ranked fifth in All-Star Game steals as his All-Star Game matches his regular season game as he ranks in the top five in both assists and steals in league history.

When looking at the list of single-game record holders, it is stacked with names from the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, with just one exception — Paul George holding the mark for most 3-pointers made with nine. Part of that can be explained just by the fact that the 3-point line was not a part of the game for the first 33 years of the NBA. But the key factor is the sheer explosion in 3-pointer shooting that has been seen across the league — and in All-Star Games — over the past decade.

Last year, Chris Paul became the all-time leader in All-Star Game assists.

However, the player the record for total 3-pointers made in All-Star Game history — James Harden at 39 3s made — is a member of the anniversary team, but will be unable to play in the All-Star Game due to injury. He leads LeBron by just a single triple (38) and leads Stephen Curry by eight (31). A look at that top 10 all-time shows eight active players, with only Kobe and Ray Allen (22 3s each) among the top All-Star 3-point shooters.

If LeBron is able to pass Harden in 3-pointers made, it will be the sixth category that he holds the mark as the all-time leader. He already leads in minutes played (471), points scored (389), field goals made (161), field goals attempted (301) and 3-pointers attempted (119). He also ranks third in assists (98) behind CP3 and Magic and eighth in rebounding (103) and has a chance to climb to sixth with six boards on Sunday. LeBron is also 10th in steals.

How much will the All-Star record book be rewritten after Sunday’s contest between Team LeBron and Team Durant? Will any of the seven first-time All-Stars etch their name next to some of these all-time greats with a magical All-Star debut? Tune in on Sunday to find out.