The NBA’s latest All-Star Weekend came to an end on Sunday night, as fans at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte were treated to a legitimately entertaining and, for some stretches, competitive basketball game. By the time the horn sounded, Team LeBron and game MVP Kevin Durant came out on top against Team Giannis by a final score of 178-164.
The game’s first half was dominated by Antetokounmpo and co., as Team Giannis took a commanding 95-82 lead into the locker room. The Greek Freak was the star of the game’s first 24 minutes, going for 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists. He kept doing this thing where he’s, uh, way bigger and taller and stronger and faster and skilled and agile than any human should be, and in response this happened.
Things didn’t really ramp up until the second half, so let’s remember the other best moment in the first half: Nikola Jokic showing off some really impressive court awareness to force a turnover … kind of.
Team LeBron made its torrid comeback in the third quarter, largely behind Damian Lillard turning into a flamethrower.
By the end of the third, Team LeBron had gotten out in front, leading 132-131. Beyond the buckets by Lillard, we got some fun memories of James and Dwyane Wade teaming up in Miami, as the former members of the Heatles set one another up for jams.
Antetokoumpo’s squad did what it could to try to get back, partly because Steph Curry did some extremely Steph Curry stuff.
Also, Curry showed off the ups that got teased before the game, which was weird to see during a game, but also, it ruled.
Still, LeBron’s team was just too good, with guys like Kawhi Leonard and especially Durant doing some serious heavy lifting down the stretch. The dagger came, as it has so many times over the course of their careers, when Kyrie Irving and James teamed up to bring the house down.
Antentokounmpo’s 38-point, 11-rebound, 5-assist performance and Durant’s 31-point, 7-rebound night were the standouts, but as is always the case, a collection of the best basketball players on earth coming together to score a combined 342 points led to a number of dudes stuffing the stat sheet. Above all else, Sunday night was a celebration of basketball in its most entertaining form, and as is always the case, no one does that better than the NBA.