Kyle Kuzma led Team USA to a 161-144 win over Team World in the Mtn Dew Ice Rising Stars Game on Friday night in Charlotte, collecting MVP honors with his game-high 35 points on 15-of-27 shooting from the floor.
The Rising Stars game is, typically, a ridiculously high-scoring affair, much like the All-Star Game to come on Sunday, but rarely do the teams seem all that concerned with winning. On Friday, Team USA appeared to have a bit of a competitive edge and after the game Kuzma revealed why.
It simply came down to Team USA wanting the $25,000 bonus each player got from being on the winning team. Kuz noted that on the floor and after the game confirmed that was indeed his, and the team’s, motivation for playing a little harder to get the win.