CLEVELAND – The two kids from Akron stole the show at Sunday Night’s All-Star Game.
Stephen Curry Laid in a shooting clinic all evening, recording 16 three-pointers and scoring 50 points, while LeBron James She rocked a ridiculous one-legged jump to take LeBron’s Team Durant 163-160.
On one night that the National Basketball Association honored the 75 greatest players, two of them — Curry and James — put on performances worthy of the occasion.
“Yeah, I told him on the field after the game that it was kind of a perfect ending,” said Curry, who was named Player of the Game. “I was chasing two or three extra points. I think Demar [DeRozan] Hit a big shot, and then [James] He went out and hit the game winner.
“It was kind of the perfect ending. I obviously got the best player; I played really well all night. He took the game win. All of our series history and Akron relationships, and all that kind of going into how it went, so it was pretty – uncharted any other way.
“It’s right on the nose of how it should go.”
Curry, who broke the NBA record for three-pointers earlier this season, made 16 three-pointers – which would be the most in any game in NBA history, and broke the previous All-Star Game record. nine. After setting the first-half record with eight three-pointers, Curry had the crowd — who loudly booed the Golden State Warriors star before the game — when he nailed five consecutive three-pointers at the start of the third quarter, including one on three consecutive possessions.
He then hit his 15th No. 3 — more than anyone had ever achieved in any NBA game — at the end of a passing sequence that saw him pass it to James, who tossed it to Nikola Jokicwho passed to Giannis Antikonmo, who then turns him into Carrie in the corner. Curry then let it fly, and turned around to celebrate before the ball softly fell through the net.
During the next timeout, Curry said into the microphone he was wearing for TNT, “Can someone tell me what the point record is?”
In the end, Curry “only” got 50 points — missing 2 of his 3-pointers in the fourth quarter would have allowed him to overshoot 52 points. Anthony Davis Set the record in 2017 – before James finished the competition with his dagger Zach Lavigne.
“I couldn’t have dreamed of it,” James said of hitting the match winner. “I couldn’t have dreamed of this moment better than the reality that just happened. For me to come back here, as I keep saying, 35 minutes [north] Growing up here in Akron, Ohio, winning the All-Star Game, my actor and I were in the back, watching the All-Star Game. I remember 25 years ago we were 12 and 11 years old, wishing we had the opportunity or the means to get to Cleveland and see some of the greatest basketball players of all time because they inspired us so much.
“For me to be here today, for my best friend here, and for my wife and children and family, my mom. There are so many people who have seen me grow from a little girl to what I am today. I couldn’t even – I couldn’t imagine that moment better.”
The exploits of James and Curry—as well as Antetokounmue, who was the only player on any team playing any kind of defense for extended periods of the evening—came alongside the NBA’s 75th-anniversary celebration, in which the league honored the 75 greatest players in its history. A large group photo was taken of those who attended inside the ring before the start of the match.
They were then honored during the halftime with a gala hosted by Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee, which included a video narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker, and then watched each player be honored with a position – starting with the attackers, followed by the centers and ending. with the guards. The last player announced was Michael Jordan, who received the biggest cheer that night.
“Being a part of the 75 greatest basketball players of all time takes me back to my childhood again, growing up in Spring Hill and recording all my inspirations on my wall, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson,” he said. James. “To see these guys today and then be on stage with these guys… You guys don’t understand.
“I’m trying to make you understand as much as I can, but that’s just crazy.”
The game itself used the format first used in Chicago two years ago, Elam Ending, which brought the same level of intensity and competition to its last moments this year as it did in its debut.
After the two teams played each of the first three quarters for charity—the winner each separately earned $100,000 for his charity (Team LeBron plays on Kent State’s I Promise Scholars Program and Team Durant plays at Great Cleveland Food Bank)—they were played Fourth quarter with a target score.
During the introductions, it came as no surprise that James, who grew up 40 miles south in Akron, Ohio, received a huge welcome from the crowd playing in front of 11 of his 18-plus seasons in the NBA — letting out a massive roar and raising his arms to the fans as they did that.
Two Golden State stars were also expected to be honored on Sunday night – Carrie, who played, and Draymond Greenwho didn’t — was booed after James and the Cleveland Cavaliers played four consecutive years in the NBA Finals, from 2015 to 2018, winning three of them.
LeBron won the first quarter 47-45, thanks to Luka Doncic Scoring the final six points for the team. Durant’s team came back and won the second quarter 49-46 – despite Curry scoring eight first-half three-pointers – to take a 94-93 lead at the end of the first half. Then the two teams tied in the third quarter thanks to a strong defensive play by Antetokonmo late in the quarter.
That left the score at 139-138 in favor of Durant’s team heading into fourth, which means the target score was 163 points – 24 more than the team leader’s total after three, in a nod to the late Kobe Bryant, and James’ final tournament preparation after Joel Embiid Antetokounmpo traded in baskets throughout the fourth quarter.
“I was just trying to win,” said Antetokonmo. “I’m really competitive. Kind of an all-star game, it wasn’t made for me. Obviously, I come here and try to enjoy the game as much as I can, but I don’t know how not to have difficulty. I kind of dread walking around because I’m always trying to walk Full speed no matter what I do because that’s the way – what kind of a player I am.”
For the second year in a row, Durant’s team was without its captain, as Kevin Durant He was unable to play in Sunday’s game due to the MCL sprain that has kept him out of action over the past month. Durant was originally scheduled to attend the match, despite his injury, but it did not happen following the death of his grandmother this weekend. green (back, calf) and James Harden (hamstring) also missed the match due to injury, with lamillo ballAnd the Dignity Murray And the Garrett Allenrespectively, are exploited to serve as substitutes for it.
Donovan Mitchell He announced just two hours before his Sunday tip that he wouldn’t play either, due to an upper respiratory illness that kept him from participating in anything on Saturday and, ultimately, the All-Star game itself. Chris PaulIn the meantime, he will miss the next six to eight weeks, at least, after sustaining an avulsion fracture of his right thumb in Wednesday’s win over the Houston Rockets. However, despite that injury, Paul played for just over two minutes in the first quarter of Sunday’s game, missing his only shot (left layup) before sitting out all night.
LeBron’s team has improved to 5-0 since the NBA moved away from the traditional East-West format for the All-Star Game in 2018 and instead adopted the current setup of getting the best votes from each of the conference draft teams from the game’s remaining 22 participants.
But the competitive fervor that lasted until the last bell summed up how the change of format breathed new life into the event.
“I think so,” Suns coach Monty Williams, who coached LeBron’s team, said after the game when asked if the new formula worked. “I think even before the last period there is a level of competition you haven’t seen before.
“The guys want to win in the quarter. They want to change their lives with that money. And we’re in the rallies, we talk about winning the quarter, we’re not out winning, and in the fourth quarter, that’s NBA basketball, and you have the best of the best in it.”
“You look at Jarrett’s block on Joel, that was prime time play, Giannis stealing, LeBron’s shot. Steve goes 50. You don’t play like that if you’re walking around.”
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