For the third year in a row, the Western Conference All-Stars topped the Eastern Conference All-Stars, as hometown hero Anthony Davis excited the crowd at New Orleans' Smoothie King Center by entering the record books with 52 points, the most ever scored in the NBA All-Star Game.
Despite a late rally from the East, the Western Conference All-Stars finished the game strong, going on to win 192-182 in Sunday's conclusion to All-Star Weekend.
Representing the Pacers, in his fourth career All-Star Game, was Paul George, who finished the night with 12 points and five rebounds. George struggled to find his touch from long range, but still managed to lift the crowd with some thundering dunks throughout the evening.
"It was fun, it was really just about getting out there and showcasing, having fun out there," said George to reporters after the game. "Looking forward to the break now, get some rest, and get ready for the second half."
George knew coming in that replicating his 41-point effort of the 2016 All-Star Game would be a tough task, and mentioned in Saturday's media availability that the type of night he would have might depend on whether his shot was falling.
But after going 0-of-4 from beyond the arc in the first half, George focused on getting to the rim, where he scored in a multitude of ways; from throwing it off the backboard to himself, to hammering a bounce pass alley-oop from Paul Millsap.
By the end of the evening, George was 6-of-16 from the field, with all six of his made field goals coming from dunks. He also added three assists.
George checked in the game for the first time with 6:08 remaining in the first quarter and the East leading 26-24. With PG in the game, the Eastern Conference All-Stars pushed ahead to a 34-28 advantage before the West charged right back, retaking the lead 35-34.
George got his first points of the game in transition, slamming one down in the open floor. He picked up another powerful dunk minutes later when he received an alley-oop from John Wall on the break and put it down behind the back with two hands.
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By the time the first quarter ended, the East was leading 53-48 and George was 2-of-6 from the field with four points and four rebounds.
Just minutes into the second quarter, George ignited the crowd again, throwing an alley-oop to himself off the glass for his third field goal of the evening, subbing back out moments later.
During his shift in the first half, George went 3-of-7 from the field, making all three of his field goals on plays at the rim while missing on his four 3-point attempts.
With one minute left in the opening half, Stephen Curry of the Warriors drained a 3-pointer to give the West a 90-88 advantage. From there, the West closed the second quarter with force, putting the West in front 97-92 at the break.
For the Eastern Conference All-Stars, LeBron James led the way in the first half scoring a team-high 20 points, while Giannis Antetokounmpo, in his first All-Star Game, went 7-of-7 from the field for 16 points.
In the third quarter, George checked into the game at the 7:20 mark and quickly played the role of distributer, dishing a dime off of the backboard to Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan.
Following his assist, George crammed two alley-oops, the second of which came on a crafty bounce pass from Millsap.
Without George in the game, the focus was the race to see who would be the first to break Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star scoring record of 42, which was set in 1962. With 8:00 left in the game, both Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis had 38.
Westbrook first hit a 3-pointer to perch himself at 41, one point away from the record. But Davis closed the gap quickly, scoring in a flurry to hit 44 points on the night, knocking down the 55-year-old record.
Following the record's fall, Davis continued to score in droves, finishing the night with 52 points, 10 rebounds and an All-Star Game MVP trophy.
"It was great, great for New Orleans, great for the Pelicans, great for Anthony," George said. "Great for the NBA to showcase our young talent, and you know, Anthony is really the future of our NBA."