NBA All-Star Weekend Recap
If there was ever any doubt about Stephen Curry being the greatest shooter of all-time, the 71st NBA All-Star game put that doubt to bed.
The weekend in Cleveland lived up to expectations yet again, with a new format for the Rising Stars game, a big-man winning the three-point contest for the first time since 2012 and a nail-biting finish in Sunday’s main event.
Team captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant saw their respective squads battle it out for three quarters and reach a target score of 163 points, which ended with LeBron James’s record as an All-Star game captain extending its perfection to 5-0. The final quarter, which had an “Elam Ending,” saw the winning team reach 24 points before the other in honor of the late Kobe Bryant.
Unlike the NFL Pro Bowl, the NBA’s stars came out strong from tip-off. Warriors and Hawks guards Stephen Curry and Trae Young traded back-to-back three pointers to get the action going. The home-town Cavaliers saw their young stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen connect on an alley-oop late in the 1st quarter for Team LeBron.
Throughout the game, Stephen Curry showed Clevland fans why it wasn’t smart to boo him before the game. In Sunday’s action, Curry broke three All-Star game records when he hit six three-pointers in a quarter, eight in a half and 16 in the game. He would go on to finish with 50 points and claim the game’s MVP trophy. The rest of the team’s starters would all score in double-figures, with Giannis Antetokounmpo tallying 30 points and LeBron James right behind him with 24.
While Team LeBron saw its starters excel, Team Durant found its success stem from the bench.
Philadelphia 76ers center and game-starter Joel Embiid led the way with 36 points, but that was it in terms of scoring from the starting five. Suns guard Devin Booker had 20 points and provided a necessary scoring spark off the bench to keep the game close. Young star guards LaMelo Ball and Dejounte Murray contributed 18 and 17 points, respectively, to show NBA fans that the league’s future is in good hands.
The game also included a halftime ceremony in which the NBA honored members from its 75th anniversary team, which highlights the league’s 75 greatest pioneers of the sport.
In the end, it wasn’t Team LeBron or Team Durant who won, but instead HBCUs and charities.
Game MVP Stephen Curry donated $108,000 to the Cleveland Metro School District after he decided to donate $1,000 for every point he scored, $3,000 for every three-pointer and $10,000 for game MVP. The NBA also contributed more than $3-million to HBCUs throughout the entire weekend.
Carlos Garcia is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.