LeBron James scored led all players with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds and eight assists, spearheading a comeback effort by Team LeBron against Team Stephen for a 148-145 win in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.
While Los Angeles hosted the showcase for a league-record sixth time, and Staples Center housed the ballyhooed weekend of events a third time, this year brought about change in the roster selection process.
As the top two vote-getters, LeBron James (first in voting) and Stephen Curry (second), went through a draft to assemble their roster of All-Stars. A byproduct of that was an All-Star Game that was competitive, specifically in terms of defense, from the get-go.
Curry and his team didn’t shoot well throughout the night, but led for much of the game. It grew to as many as 13 points before James, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook began to chip away in the fourth quarter.
James made a step-back 3-pointer over Joel Embiid with 1:30 remaining to tie the game at 144-144. James then made a go-ahead layup with just over 34 seconds remaining, and a Westbrook layup off an outlet gave Team LeBron a little more of a cushion.
James then teamed with Kevin Durant to hound Curry around the 3-point line, preventing the prolific scorer from getting a look at the basket. Curry dumped the ball into DeMar DeRozan’s lap but he failed to get a shot attempt up before the clock expired.
DeRozan and Damian Lillard each had 21 points, tying for the Team Stephen lead. Curry himself only managed 11 points on a poor 4-for-14 shooting effort.
The All-Star MVP Award was James’ first since 2008, when he had 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in a 134-128 Eastern Conference win in New Orleans. Prior to that, he earned MVP honors in Houston in 2006.
James’ three All-Star Game MVPs tie him with Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal for second-most all time. Kobe Bryant and Bob Pettit won four times.
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERS NATION FORUM CLUB