With such a high-scoring event, all people really want to see with the NBA All-Star game is who stood out on the the stat line, who won, whether or not it was a good game and highlights, of course. I’m happy to report that for once, the All-Star game was actually close and competitive down the stretch as the West outlasted the East 152-149. This is the kind of game All-Star game fans want to see every year, not a 20-point blowout like it normally is (and was about to be this year as well). Although the ending was anticlimactic (overtime would have been a great way to finish off an impressive comeback by the East), hopefully the teams will come out just as competitive next year. So here are the basic headlines to wrap up All-Star Weekend:
1) Kevin Durant won the MVP award with 36 points and 7 rebounds. Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan as the career scoring leader in All-Star history, scoring 27. He also sustained a nasal fracture after what looked like a hard foul from Dwyane Wade (who said he wasn’t trying to draw blood with the foul). Russell Westbrook had 21 points and Blake Griffin had 22 along with a critical steal that wrapped the game up for the West. Kevin Love, who won the 3-point contest on Saturday, scored 17 while Chris Paul had 8 points and 12 assists.
2) Even in an All-Star game, LeBron James fell short in the 4th quarter. The All-Star game is never extremely competitive, but James sure sounded upset in his postgame interview about turning the ball over when his team needed him most. He admittedly had a great final quarter barring that one mistake, as his 36 points and hot 3-point shooting got the East back into the game. But this small mistake is going to be the sort of thing people remember and you better believe they’ll bring it up again and again until LeBron proves himself to be clutch in the 4th. Dwyane Wade finished with a triple double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Deron Williams had 20, Carmelo Anthony finished with 19 and Derrick Rose had 14.
3) TNT almost killed All-Star weekend. The commentating was fine because there was an actual basketball game to talk about, but this problem was a trend of the weekend. From the Dunk Contest to the awful selections for the national anthem and half-time show, TNT seemed to be trying to make this All-Star weekend the worst one yet. Mary J. Blige butchered the national anthem by holding ridiculously long notes that were off-key, while Pitbull and Chris Brown ruined the half-time show (Pitbull is already a bad artist, why have him on stage, completely out-of-breath and trying to rap his “greatest hits?” And don’t get me started on Chris Brown. How could any human being beat Rihanna?).
But probably most important, here are the best highlights from the game: