Lots of points, lots of dunks, not a lot of All-Star defense
10:23, Feb 20, 2017
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Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, MVP each of the previous two All-Star games, finished with 41 points - one shy of tying the most points scored in an All-Star game.
Overdone or not, the spectacle surrounding the relationship between former teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook was the storyline for the 2017 NBA All-Star game.
The Pelicans star went into the fourth quarter with 32 points and scored 20 in the final period to run away with the scoring record in an All-Star game.
Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed out for the East with 30 points on 17 shots, and dunked on Steph Curry. LeBron James made a shot from almost half-court, something he would never try in a competitive situation.
"It's basketball, that's it, " Westbrook said when asked about the pass from Durant. And who will be named the All-Star Game MVP?
The Eastern Conference All-Stars lost to the Western Conference, 192-182 on Sunday Night in New Orleans.
The stars were everywhere, on and off the court during the 66th annual NBA All-Star game. You can't be selfish and say, 'OK, I want to show out.' I want to show out and I want to get MVP, but he got hot, man. While the two talked trash at times during their regular-season matchups, they often refused to answer questions about the other.
In a free-flowing offensive game, the Thunder duo of Abrines and Sabonis had fun representing the World Team, combining for 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting in the World's 150-141 win over the U.S. Perhaps rightfully so, as their rookie center Joel Embiid was snubbed from the All-Star game with Paul Millsap taking his place. And finally, for the first time since Durant divorced Westbrook and the Thunder on July 4th, they had a light-hearted, tension-easing moments together.
However, there is no way the West team, which comprises Irving, James, Buttler, DeMar DeRozan, John Wall and Kevin Love, can be taken lightly by the East.
As ESPN points out at the above link, Towns is likely to join Shaquille O'Neal as the only players age 21 or younger to average at least 23 points and 11 rebounds per game. "I was just playing within the game, and I wasn't trying to force it", Murray said. Teams like the game because it is a carrot for season ticket holders and teams generate revenue from the weekend.
"It's not even something I'm thinking about", Durant said of interacting with Westbrook in a "SportsCenter" interview Friday.
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