The 2020 NBA All-Star Game brought some much-needed excitement back to the proceedings as the combination of the draft format and the Elam Ending made for a highly competitive final quarter. For the 2021 edition, the Elam Ending proved as a merciful tool to end a blowout early, as the fan-less All-Star experience was, unsurprisingly, not nearly as intense or exciting.
There were still some highlights, mostly coming from Team LeBron. The team ran away to a 170-150 win on the backs of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, and Damian Lillard. The reigning back-to-back MVP was a perfect 16-for-16 on the night, including three three-pointers — two of which he banked in — as he went off for 35 points. One of the highlights of the night was his 16th bucket coming on one of those banked in threes while the booth begged him not to shoot it to ruin his perfect evening.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 8, 2021
Giannis would go on to pick up the Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP trophy for his performance.
Curry chipped in 28 points, as he caught fire in the first half, going 6-for-8 from deep, including a little halfcourt shootout with Lillard, and while he cooled off a touch in the second half, he still managed to hit some clutch buckets late.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 8, 2021
The game-winner came on a halfcourt pullup from Damian Lillard, who finished with 32 points, including some highlight reel deep threes as he proved Dame Time doesn’t need a clock to exist.
As for the namesake of Team LeBron, he made sure to enjoy a nice long rest, not playing a minute in the second half and watching his draft picks do the work as his squad moves to 4-0 under the new draft format. He had four points and four assists in just over 12 minutes.
On Team Durant, Kyrie Irving led the way with 24 points and 12 assists, while Bradley Beal led them in scoring with 26 points, but they just weren’t able to keep up with the barrage of threes from Team LeBron, who shot over 50 percent from distance on the night compared to 37.5 percent from team Durant.
That put a bow on a strange night of All-Star festivities, and the players will have a few days off before the season gets back under way on Wednesday and Thursday.