Team Stephen Falls to Team LeBron in 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Warriors Combine For 48 Points
Kevin Durant will have bragging rights over several teammates for the rest of the season after he and Team LeBron came back in the final minutes to earn a 148-145 victory over Team Stephen in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night. Team Stephen had a chance to tie it up at the end of the contest, but couldn’t get off a shot before time expired, as a defensive play proved to be the deciding one in the game. Durant scored 19 points in victory, while Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green added 15, 11 and three, respectively, in defeat. The four Golden State participants marked the first time in NBA history that a team had four players in the All-Star Game in consecutive seasons.
After last year’s All-Star Game devolved into one lacking anything resembling defense, the league tinkered with the team structure this time around with the hopes it would make for a more competitive contest. That’s precisely what played out on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
From the outset, it was clear defense was more of a priority than in years past, as the two sides combined for 73 points in the opening quarter, 28 fewer than a year ago. The 293 total points scored in the game were far fewer than the 192-182 outcome in 2017.
As a result of that change to the team structure, Kevin Durant ended up as the lone Golden State Warrior on Team LeBron, while his teammates Curry, Green and Thompson opposed him on Team Stephen. Durant provided consistent scoring throughout the night, in addition to collecting six rebounds, five assists and three steals. With 19 points, he finished second on his team in scoring behind LeBron James, who scored 29 and was names the game’s Most Valuable Player.
KLAY'S HOT START
Going into halftime, though, it may have been Klay Thompson with the best odds to take home that individual award. Thompson had the hot hand in the first half, but particularly so in the second quarter. After knocking down a single three-pointer in the first frame, Thompson added another four treys in the second to tie James with a game-high 15 points at halftime.
STEPH'S STRONG FINISH
Curry had an opposite experience in the game, starting slow before finishing strong. He finished the first half with just three points, but would close the third quarter with a sequence that showcased his ability to put up points in bunches. In addition to converting three three-pointers, Curry also added six rebounds and five assists on the night.