By the time the NBA’s 63rd All-Star Game in New Orleans got to halftime, the Western Conference broke the one-half NBA All-Star Game scoring record, draining 89 points, while owning a thirteen point lead over the East heading into the third quarter. However, the East rallied back from an 18-point deficit to overtake the West 163-155, and win its first All-Star Game since 2010.
Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin led the way for the West, as they both finished with game-high 38 points, however it was the East’s duo of Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving who would ultimately take over the game to help the East gain the All-Star win.
Irving, who was awarded the game’s MVP award, scored 31 points and recorded 14 assists, while Melo scored 30 points, including going an incredible, 8-13 from downtown. Anthony’s eight threes set a new NBA All-Star Game record, eclipsing Mark Price’s six threes scored in 1993. While all of Carmelo’s threes were important for the East, his most clutch trey came with just over a minute to play.
The East held a slim one-point lead with only 1:04 remaining in the fourth quarter when Melo took a pass from Irving, and squared up for his final three of the night, which gave the East a four point lead that they would never relinquish.
In fact the West would not score again — after Melo’s dagger.
Anthony started the night on fire, scoring 15 points in the first quarter and helping the East stay close. However, he sat for long stretches during the second and third quarter, and was only inserted back into the lineup down the stretch of the fourth quarter, when most of the starters were reinserted as each conference put their best foot forward to win.
The 318 combined points scored on Sunday, broke the All-Star Game record of 303 set back in 1987.
Of course the game was a celebrity-filled event, as the night began with the rosters and starting lineups being introduced as part of a mini-concert led by Pharrell Williams, and incorporated guest appearances by Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Snoop Dogg.
However, Sunday’s game may only be a warmup for next year’s star-studded mid-season classic, as Madison Square Garden will host the 64th NBA All Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. In the last All-Star game at The Garden in 1998, Michael Jordan was the game’s MVP as he scored 23 points dished eight assists and grabbed six rebounds during a 135-114 victory for the East.
In the Rising Stars game held on Friday night, Knicks’ guard, Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with a game-high 36 points for Team (Chris) Webber, which lost 142-136 to Team (Grant) Hill.
The headlines after the game werren’t which team won, as Hardaway (36 points) co-starred with Cavaliers’ guard Dion Waiters (31 points) in a one-on-one duel that lasted much of the game.
“You’ve got to enjoy the moment, embrace it and go out there and have fun,” Hardaway said after the game. “That’s what I was trying to do, just go out there and have fun and just soak up all the energy that the fans were giving us.”