2018 All Star Weekend: Day 3 Recap
After a day of service and All-Star Saturday night, the actual reason for All-Star weekend, the All-Star Game, took place at Staples Centre on Sunday night. Deviating from the standard East versus West format, this year's game featured Team LeBron James and Team Stephen Curry facing off. Toronto's DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were both representing Team Stephen, while Dwane Casey and the Raptors coaching staff represented Team LeBron.
With bragging rights on the line, the game was as competitive as it's been in recent history, coming down to the final possession. Ultimately, Casey's squad, Team LeBron, came out on top, earning a narrow 148-145 victory. James was named All-Star Game MVP.
While Casey's team got the win, Lowry and DeRozan each had big performances. DeRozan had 21 points, tying a team-high, to go along with six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 27 minutes of action. Lowry finished with a game-high 11 assists to go with four points, seven rebounds and three steals in 21 minutes off the bench.
Leading up to the day there were plenty of opportunities for photos, catching up, and soaking in the moment, starting with Lowry and DeRozan arriving to the arena, alongside team captain Stephen Curry.
Lowry was quick to document the occasion shortly after their arrival, posting this photo with his bestie to his Instagram account.
A group shot of Team Steph:
It's been a fun weekend, but a busy one. As evidenced by Lowry trying to catch a quick moment of shut-eye during photo session.
A look at DeRozan's All-Star kicks:
And Lowry's shoe selection:
Your All-Star head coach for Team LeBron, Dwane Casey:
All-smiles for four-time All-Star Kyle Lowry during his introduction:
And it was a special night for four-time All-Star and Compton native, DeMar DeRozan:
It didn't take long for Toronto's All-Star backcourt to get to work:
DeRozan and Lowry said there would be plenty of trash talk as they faced their coach on the opposite bench. Casey was clearly enjoying the challenge of coaching against his players:
The Raptors were well represented under the bright lights in Hollywood.
True to form, Casey's team set the tone early, playing the kind of defence that generally isn't seen in an All-Star Game, helping to create one of the most entertaining contests the weekend has seen in some time.
DeRozan scored his 19th and 20th points early in the fourth quarter in emphatic fashion.
Despite not being in L.A. For the weekend, Fred VanVleet was watching and supporting his teammates. Shortly before the game ended, he sent out the DeRozan for All-Star MVP tweet.
For DeRozan, it was special to be back home with family and friends close.
After the game, Casey called the close battle between the two teams a great first step toward how the game should be played. In true Casey fashion, he also made sure the praise his team's defence on the final possession, and of course, discussed coaching against his two superstars.
"That was tough," he said of having to coach against DeRozan and Lowry. "Those two have carried us and pushed us and I love both of them as sons and I'm proud of them."
Though Casey earned bragging rights at the end of this one, it was a big weekend for the Raptors organization. With two All-Stars participating and their head coach manning the sideline for the first time in franchise history, the weekend served as a reminder of the hard work that went into a solid first half of the season and also a celebration of their first-place standing in the Eastern Conference.