Team LeBron, behind by 20 points in the second half, caught fire late and went on to beat Team Giannis, 178-164, in the All-Star Game on Sunday night.
The game’s most valuable player, Kevin Durant, scored 31 points for Team LeBron, reassuring why LeBron James drafted him first.
“It’s all sweet to me,” Durant said when asked to compare the award to his other career accomplishments. “I mean, it’s hard to rank. Everything’s special. But it’s cool to be out there with some of the best players to ever play the game, and to win an MVP here in front of my family and friends is pretty sweet. I just keep trying to rack them up, I guess.”
Klay Thompson scored 20, and James and Kawhi Leonard each scored 19 for Team LeBron.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the first-time captain, led everybody with 38 points for the club he drafted. Paul George and Khris Middleton each scored 20 points for Team Giannis, which got 17 apiece from Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook.
The game had many storylines, none greater than honoring Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade. Nowitzki and Wade were added to the All-Star pool of players by NBA commissioner Adam Silver and both players appreciated the gesture and the emotional moments that were created throughout the weekend — the biggest one coming between the third and fourth quarters when each player was presented a framed All-Star jersey by his team’s captain and were both joined at center court by the rest of the game’s All-Stars for a picture.
“This one was special,” Wade said of his entire experience. “I’m just thankful for the NBA for making sure and accommodating one of the things that I didn’t even think I needed or wanted. My team did an amazing job, my family. I couldn’t ask for anything more of this weekend. It definitely was my most enjoyable. People like to ask, and this one will take the place now as my most memorable and most enjoyable All-Star.”
The game was highly entertaining and enjoyable for all. The new teams’ system had the guys involved and energetic. A fitting end to a great weekend in Charlotte