As usual, LeBron James knows what’s up when it comes to basketball.
The team put together by the Los Angeles Lakers superstar rallied from a deep third-quarter deficit Sunday to top Team Giannis in the NBA All-Star Game, 178-164 in a display of shooting that was impressive even by the standards of the NBA’s annual February exhibition.
Kevin Durant earned MVP honors for the second time in victory.
Giannis, Bucks representation take control early
The first half was a statement from the Milwaukee Bucks, as Giannis Antetokounmpo looked zoned in on an MVP trophy, leading all scorers with 20 points.
With Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer on the bench and Khris Middleton dropping 17 points off the bench, it was all Team Giannis, taking a 95-82 lead after two quarters. Their 53 first quarter points tied an All-Star game record.
Team LeBron’s bench closes the gap
The Greek Freak’s squad continued the run to start the second half until a 3-point barrage from Team LeBron bench turned the tide.
Team Giannis extended its lead to 109-89 early in the the third, but Team LeBron, led by hot shooting from Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard quickly closed the gap, leading a 33-13 run to take a 133-132 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We just started making shots,” Durant told TNT of the comeback. “Bradley Beal and Klay Thompson, that second group got us going. We took off from there.”
All-Star game 3-point record
The run continued the trend of All-Star games becoming competitive late, and the hot shooting continued from both teams in the fourth as they combined to break the All-Star game record for 3-pointers with 56 halfway through the fourth quarter.
By the time the game was done, both teams combined for 62 3-pointers.
When Team LeBron’s starters returned to the court late, they owned the game the rest of the way in the second straight win for LeBron’s squad at the All-Star Game.
Durant led the way for Team LeBron with 31 points and seven rebounds in his MVP effort as 10 players on the team scored in double figures.
Antetokounmpo was the game’s leading scorer, tallying 38 points with 11 rebounds in a losing effort.
Four players on team LeBron hit five or more 3-pointers including Durant (6-for-9), Thompson (6-for-12), Lillard (6-for-17) and Kawhi Leonard (5-for-11). Overall, Team LeBron shot 35-of-90 from deep.
Team Giannis hit 27-of-77 3-pointers, led by Paul George (7-of-14) and Middleton (6-of-10).
Steph loads up highlight reel
The game had plenty of highlights, but a bounce-pass alley-oop from Stephen Curry to Antetokounmpo stole the show.
Curry scored on one of the night’s other big highlights when he drained a three after a surprisingly hard foul from Warriors teammate Thompson on the front-end of a four-point play.
Anthony Davis sees limited action
New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis made a brief appearance in the first half amid concerns that a shoulder contusion suffered on Thursday would keep him out of the game. He played just five minutes, logging five points and one rebound and didn’t return to the court in the second half.
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