Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were happy to combine on 'Team LeBron' and help make the All-Star game a competitive and entertaining one
Durant and Irving happy to partake in meaningful All-Star game
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were happy to combine on 'Team LeBron' and help make the All-Star game a competitive and entertaining one
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were happy to combine on 'Team LeBron' and help make the All-Star game a competitive and entertaining one
Durant and Irving happy to partake in meaningful All-Star game
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were happy to combine on 'Team LeBron' and help make the All-Star game a competitive and entertaining one
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were happy to combine on 'Team LeBron' and help make the All-Star game a competitive and entertaining one
Durant and Irving happy to partake in meaningful All-Star game
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were happy to combine on 'Team LeBron' and help make the All-Star game a competitive and entertaining one
Team Stephen's forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, left, of the Milwaukee Bucks gets inside to dunk against Team LeBron's Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and guard Kyrie Irving, right, of the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, left, of the Milwaukee Bucks gets inside to dunk against Team LeBron's Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and guard Kyrie Irving, right, of the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, left, of the Milwaukee Bucks gets inside to dunk against Team LeBron's Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and guard Kyrie Irving, right, of the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates with Team LeBron's LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. Team LeBron won, 148-145. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates with Team LeBron's LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. Team LeBron won, 148-145. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates with Team LeBron's LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. Team LeBron won, 148-145. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's guard DeMar DeRozan, right, of the Toronto Raptors looks to pass the ball while between Team LeBron's forward LeBron James, left, of the Cleveland Cavaliers and forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's guard DeMar DeRozan, right, of the Toronto Raptors looks to pass the ball while between Team LeBron's forward LeBron James, left, of the Cleveland Cavaliers and forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's guard DeMar DeRozan, right, of the Toronto Raptors looks to pass the ball while between Team LeBron's forward LeBron James, left, of the Cleveland Cavaliers and forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's guard Stephen Curry, center, of the Golden State Warriors cannot get a shot off against Team LeBron's forward Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors and forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's guard Stephen Curry, center, of the Golden State Warriors cannot get a shot off against Team LeBron's forward Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors and forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's guard Stephen Curry, center, of the Golden State Warriors cannot get a shot off against Team LeBron's forward Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors and forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's center Joel Embiid, center, of the Philadelphia 76ers battles for the ball against Team LeBron's forward Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors and forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's center Joel Embiid, center, of the Philadelphia 76ers battles for the ball against Team LeBron's forward Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors and forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's center Joel Embiid, center, of the Philadelphia 76ers battles for the ball against Team LeBron's forward Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors and forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck)
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck)
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) double team Stephen Curry (C) in the final minute of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck)
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game
Kevin Durant (L) and LeBron James (R) of Team LeBron celebrate their 148-145 win over Team Stephen in the NBA All-Star Game (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck)
MAN08. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Stephen Curry (C) of Team Stephen is boxed in as Lebron James (R) and Kevin Durant (L) of Team Lebron defend during the last seconds of the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
MAN08. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Stephen Curry (C) of Team Stephen is boxed in as Lebron James (R) and Kevin Durant (L) of Team Lebron defend during the last seconds of the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
MAN08. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Stephen Curry (C) of Team Stephen is boxed in as Lebron James (R) and Kevin Durant (L) of Team Lebron defend during the last seconds of the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates with Team LeBron's LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. Team LeBron won, 148-145. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates with Team LeBron's LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. Team LeBron won, 148-145. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, left, of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates with Team LeBron's LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. Team LeBron won, 148-145. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead the defensive effort on the final possession and hold on to the victory.
Team LeBron's Defense Seals Win
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead the defensive effort on the final possession and hold on to the victory.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead the defensive effort on the final possession and hold on to the victory.
Team LeBron's Defense Seals Win
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead the defensive effort on the final possession and hold on to the victory.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead the defensive effort on the final possession and hold on to the victory.
Team LeBron's Defense Seals Win
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead the defensive effort on the final possession and hold on to the victory.
Team Stephen's DeMar Derozan, right, of the Toronto Raptors, shoots as Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, of the Golden State Warriors, defends during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Bob Donnan via AP, Pool)
Team Stephen's DeMar Derozan, right, of the Toronto Raptors, shoots as Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, of the Golden State Warriors, defends during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Bob Donnan via AP, Pool)
Team Stephen's DeMar Derozan, right, of the Toronto Raptors, shoots as Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, of the Golden State Warriors, defends during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Bob Donnan via AP, Pool)
<p>LeBron James revealed his draft order for his team&#39;s starters for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. Team LeBron defeated Team Stephen 148–145 on Sunday night.</p><p>James was named the All-Star Game MVP for the third time in his career. He finished the day with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.</p><p>James says he drafted Golden State&#39;s Kevin Durant first. New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis was selected second. James did not have any grudge toward his former teammate and selected Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving with his third pick. DeMarcus Cousins of the Pelicans rounded out the starters.</p><p>James is now tied with Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O&#39;Neal for the second-most All-Star Game MVP awards behind Bob Pettit and Kobe Bryant&#39;s four trophies.</p>
LeBron James Reveals His All-Star Team's Draft Order After A Win Over Stephen Curry

LeBron James revealed his draft order for his team's starters for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. Team LeBron defeated Team Stephen 148–145 on Sunday night.

James was named the All-Star Game MVP for the third time in his career. He finished the day with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

James says he drafted Golden State's Kevin Durant first. New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis was selected second. James did not have any grudge toward his former teammate and selected Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving with his third pick. DeMarcus Cousins of the Pelicans rounded out the starters.

James is now tied with Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal for the second-most All-Star Game MVP awards behind Bob Pettit and Kobe Bryant's four trophies.

LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead the defensive effort on the final possession and hold on to the victory.
Team Lebron's Defense Wins Game
LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead the defensive effort on the final possession and hold on to the victory.
AGX51. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Stephen Curry (C) of Team Stephen handles the ball as Lebron James (L) and Kevin Durant (R) of Team Lebron defend during the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
AGX51. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Stephen Curry (C) of Team Stephen handles the ball as Lebron James (L) and Kevin Durant (R) of Team Lebron defend during the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
AGX51. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Stephen Curry (C) of Team Stephen handles the ball as Lebron James (L) and Kevin Durant (R) of Team Lebron defend during the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
<p>LOS ANGELES — The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is in the books, and Team LeBron beat Team Steph <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/game/1948351" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:148-145" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">148-145</a> after a fourth–quarter comeback that was genuinely dramatic down the stretch. LeBron James was your All-Star MVP (29 points), while Damian Lillard (21 points), DeMar DeRozan (21 points) and Joel Embiid (19 points, 8 rebounds) led the way for Team Steph. </p><p>Here are five quick thoughts on the surprisingly competitive clash from Staples Center...</p><p><strong>1. The new All-Star format <em>worked. </em>And I&#39;m as shocked as anyone. </strong>The All-Star Game looked like it was beyond saving last year, and the new All-Star draft looked like a desperate, contrived, weirdly secretive process that wouldn&#39;t change much. If anything, eliminating conferences would just make it harder to track the halfhearted efforts of everyone involved. But then the game started and ... I think it worked? A game that&#39;s fun for three quarters and genuinely dramatic down the stretch is the best–case scenario for All-Star, and that&#39;s what happened in L.A.</p><p>The first two hours of basketball didn&#39;t suddenly turn into the NBA playoffs, but that&#39;s fine. This was a low bar and the NBA cleared it with room to spare. There were moderate levels of defense played, players on both teams were going hard almost the entire time, and we got the most entertaining All-Star Game in several years. Progress!</p><p><strong>2. LeBron James really might play forever.</strong> The dude is just unbelievable. Granted it&#39;s an All-Star Game, but he finished with a near triple–double (29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) and took over the game just as it looked like Team Steph was pulling away in the fourth quarter. </p><p>LeBron is 33 years old and he&#39;s been the best player in the league for almost a decade. We know that. But as the years pass—with each season featuring 100 games and nine months of mileage—it&#39;s sort of incredible that he looks nowhere near ready to pass the torch to anyone else. On a court with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden, the best player in the building was clear the entire time. </p><p>?</p><p>?</p><p><strong>3. There&#39;s no such thing as too much Embiid.</strong> Joel Embiid is playing back-to-backs, the Sixers are winning, and Embiid made his first All-Star Game this year. <em>[knocking on wood very hard]</em> All of this is great. And not only did Embiid make the All-Star game, but he made the All-Star a lot more fun. Whether he was unfolding his massive frame into floaters in the lane or crossing over guards and launching threes from the perimeter, he did a nice job of mixing things up the entire time he was on the floor. Also ... </p><p>For the record, Russell Westbrook answered with an and-one lay-up at the rim to make it a one-point game in the final minutes. Most important: it makes me very happy that the Embiid-Westbrook feud is still alive. </p><p><strong>4. The intros and the national anthem did not work.</strong> Kevin Hart is omnipresent at All-Star Weekend and Rob Riggle has probably made a billion dollars from pregame shows and ESPY skits alone. Both are easy targets to ridicule. I don&#39;t want to pile on too much, but, look, everyone can agree the introductions did not need to be 30 minutes long ever again. This is the next change for Adam Silver to make, and it should be a much simpler process than fixing the actual game. As for the anthem ... </p><p>Fergie<em> <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/18/fergie-national-anthem-2018-nba-all-star-game-reactions" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:went for it" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">went for it</a> </em>with an extended anthem rendition, and she, uh, didn&#39;t quite land it. The funniest moment of the night came when the arena cameras caught Draymond Green as his brain shut off somewhere during minute eight of the Fergie anthem. The whole stadium burst out laughing, forcing Draymond to crack a smile, himself. For me, this made the Fergie anthem worth it. </p><p><strong>5. Michael Jordan is up next.</strong> The crowd in L.A. was sleepy for most of the night, but late in the fourth quarter fans <em>erupted </em>for Michael Jordan as the league announced that Charlotte is hosting the 2019 All-Star Game. So there you go. Til next year... </p>
NBA All-Star Game Takeaways: New Format Works and LeBron Still Reigns

LOS ANGELES — The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is in the books, and Team LeBron beat Team Steph 148-145 after a fourth–quarter comeback that was genuinely dramatic down the stretch. LeBron James was your All-Star MVP (29 points), while Damian Lillard (21 points), DeMar DeRozan (21 points) and Joel Embiid (19 points, 8 rebounds) led the way for Team Steph.

Here are five quick thoughts on the surprisingly competitive clash from Staples Center...

1. The new All-Star format worked. And I'm as shocked as anyone. The All-Star Game looked like it was beyond saving last year, and the new All-Star draft looked like a desperate, contrived, weirdly secretive process that wouldn't change much. If anything, eliminating conferences would just make it harder to track the halfhearted efforts of everyone involved. But then the game started and ... I think it worked? A game that's fun for three quarters and genuinely dramatic down the stretch is the best–case scenario for All-Star, and that's what happened in L.A.

The first two hours of basketball didn't suddenly turn into the NBA playoffs, but that's fine. This was a low bar and the NBA cleared it with room to spare. There were moderate levels of defense played, players on both teams were going hard almost the entire time, and we got the most entertaining All-Star Game in several years. Progress!

2. LeBron James really might play forever. The dude is just unbelievable. Granted it's an All-Star Game, but he finished with a near triple–double (29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) and took over the game just as it looked like Team Steph was pulling away in the fourth quarter.

LeBron is 33 years old and he's been the best player in the league for almost a decade. We know that. But as the years pass—with each season featuring 100 games and nine months of mileage—it's sort of incredible that he looks nowhere near ready to pass the torch to anyone else. On a court with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden, the best player in the building was clear the entire time.

?

?

3. There's no such thing as too much Embiid. Joel Embiid is playing back-to-backs, the Sixers are winning, and Embiid made his first All-Star Game this year. [knocking on wood very hard] All of this is great. And not only did Embiid make the All-Star game, but he made the All-Star a lot more fun. Whether he was unfolding his massive frame into floaters in the lane or crossing over guards and launching threes from the perimeter, he did a nice job of mixing things up the entire time he was on the floor. Also ...

For the record, Russell Westbrook answered with an and-one lay-up at the rim to make it a one-point game in the final minutes. Most important: it makes me very happy that the Embiid-Westbrook feud is still alive.

4. The intros and the national anthem did not work. Kevin Hart is omnipresent at All-Star Weekend and Rob Riggle has probably made a billion dollars from pregame shows and ESPY skits alone. Both are easy targets to ridicule. I don't want to pile on too much, but, look, everyone can agree the introductions did not need to be 30 minutes long ever again. This is the next change for Adam Silver to make, and it should be a much simpler process than fixing the actual game. As for the anthem ...

Fergie went for it with an extended anthem rendition, and she, uh, didn't quite land it. The funniest moment of the night came when the arena cameras caught Draymond Green as his brain shut off somewhere during minute eight of the Fergie anthem. The whole stadium burst out laughing, forcing Draymond to crack a smile, himself. For me, this made the Fergie anthem worth it.

5. Michael Jordan is up next. The crowd in L.A. was sleepy for most of the night, but late in the fourth quarter fans erupted for Michael Jordan as the league announced that Charlotte is hosting the 2019 All-Star Game. So there you go. Til next year...

<p>LOS ANGELES — The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is in the books, and Team LeBron beat Team Steph <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/game/1948351" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:148-145" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">148-145</a> after a fourth–quarter comeback that was genuinely dramatic down the stretch. LeBron James was your All-Star MVP (29 points), while Damian Lillard (21 points), DeMar DeRozan (21 points) and Joel Embiid (19 points, 8 rebounds) led the way for Team Steph. </p><p>Here are five quick thoughts on the surprisingly competitive clash from Staples Center...</p><p><strong>1. The new All-Star format <em>worked. </em>And I&#39;m as shocked as anyone. </strong>The All-Star Game looked like it was beyond saving last year, and the new All-Star draft looked like a desperate, contrived, weirdly secretive process that wouldn&#39;t change much. If anything, eliminating conferences would just make it harder to track the halfhearted efforts of everyone involved. But then the game started and ... I think it worked? A game that&#39;s fun for three quarters and genuinely dramatic down the stretch is the best–case scenario for All-Star, and that&#39;s what happened in L.A.</p><p>The first two hours of basketball didn&#39;t suddenly turn into the NBA playoffs, but that&#39;s fine. This was a low bar and the NBA cleared it with room to spare. There were moderate levels of defense played, players on both teams were going hard almost the entire time, and we got the most entertaining All-Star Game in several years. Progress!</p><p><strong>2. LeBron James really might play forever.</strong> The dude is just unbelievable. Granted it&#39;s an All-Star Game, but he finished with a near triple–double (29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) and took over the game just as it looked like Team Steph was pulling away in the fourth quarter. </p><p>LeBron is 33 years old and he&#39;s been the best player in the league for almost a decade. We know that. But as the years pass—with each season featuring 100 games and nine months of mileage—it&#39;s sort of incredible that he looks nowhere near ready to pass the torch to anyone else. On a court with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden, the best player in the building was clear the entire time. </p><p>?</p><p>?</p><p><strong>3. There&#39;s no such thing as too much Embiid.</strong> Joel Embiid is playing back-to-backs, the Sixers are winning, and Embiid made his first All-Star Game this year. <em>[knocking on wood very hard]</em> All of this is great. And not only did Embiid make the All-Star game, but he made the All-Star a lot more fun. Whether he was unfolding his massive frame into floaters in the lane or crossing over guards and launching threes from the perimeter, he did a nice job of mixing things up the entire time he was on the floor. Also ... </p><p>For the record, Russell Westbrook answered with an and-one lay-up at the rim to make it a one-point game in the final minutes. Most important: it makes me very happy that the Embiid-Westbrook feud is still alive. </p><p><strong>4. The intros and the national anthem did not work.</strong> Kevin Hart is omnipresent at All-Star Weekend and Rob Riggle has probably made a billion dollars from pregame shows and ESPY skits alone. Both are easy targets to ridicule. I don&#39;t want to pile on too much, but, look, everyone can agree the introductions did not need to be 30 minutes long ever again. This is the next change for Adam Silver to make, and it should be a much simpler process than fixing the actual game. As for the anthem ... </p><p>Fergie<em> <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/18/fergie-national-anthem-2018-nba-all-star-game-reactions" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:went for it" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">went for it</a> </em>with an extended anthem rendition, and she, uh, didn&#39;t quite land it. The funniest moment of the night came when the arena cameras caught Draymond Green as his brain shut off somewhere during minute eight of the Fergie anthem. The whole stadium burst out laughing, forcing Draymond to crack a smile, himself. For me, this made the Fergie anthem worth it. </p><p><strong>5. Michael Jordan is up next.</strong> The crowd in L.A. was sleepy for most of the night, but late in the fourth quarter fans <em>erupted </em>for Michael Jordan as the league announced that Charlotte is hosting the 2019 All-Star Game. So there you go. Til next year... </p>
NBA All-Star Game Takeaways: New Format Works and LeBron Still Reigns

LOS ANGELES — The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is in the books, and Team LeBron beat Team Steph 148-145 after a fourth–quarter comeback that was genuinely dramatic down the stretch. LeBron James was your All-Star MVP (29 points), while Damian Lillard (21 points), DeMar DeRozan (21 points) and Joel Embiid (19 points, 8 rebounds) led the way for Team Steph.

Here are five quick thoughts on the surprisingly competitive clash from Staples Center...

1. The new All-Star format worked. And I'm as shocked as anyone. The All-Star Game looked like it was beyond saving last year, and the new All-Star draft looked like a desperate, contrived, weirdly secretive process that wouldn't change much. If anything, eliminating conferences would just make it harder to track the halfhearted efforts of everyone involved. But then the game started and ... I think it worked? A game that's fun for three quarters and genuinely dramatic down the stretch is the best–case scenario for All-Star, and that's what happened in L.A.

The first two hours of basketball didn't suddenly turn into the NBA playoffs, but that's fine. This was a low bar and the NBA cleared it with room to spare. There were moderate levels of defense played, players on both teams were going hard almost the entire time, and we got the most entertaining All-Star Game in several years. Progress!

2. LeBron James really might play forever. The dude is just unbelievable. Granted it's an All-Star Game, but he finished with a near triple–double (29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) and took over the game just as it looked like Team Steph was pulling away in the fourth quarter.

LeBron is 33 years old and he's been the best player in the league for almost a decade. We know that. But as the years pass—with each season featuring 100 games and nine months of mileage—it's sort of incredible that he looks nowhere near ready to pass the torch to anyone else. On a court with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden, the best player in the building was clear the entire time.

?

?

3. There's no such thing as too much Embiid. Joel Embiid is playing back-to-backs, the Sixers are winning, and Embiid made his first All-Star Game this year. [knocking on wood very hard] All of this is great. And not only did Embiid make the All-Star game, but he made the All-Star a lot more fun. Whether he was unfolding his massive frame into floaters in the lane or crossing over guards and launching threes from the perimeter, he did a nice job of mixing things up the entire time he was on the floor. Also ...

For the record, Russell Westbrook answered with an and-one lay-up at the rim to make it a one-point game in the final minutes. Most important: it makes me very happy that the Embiid-Westbrook feud is still alive.

4. The intros and the national anthem did not work. Kevin Hart is omnipresent at All-Star Weekend and Rob Riggle has probably made a billion dollars from pregame shows and ESPY skits alone. Both are easy targets to ridicule. I don't want to pile on too much, but, look, everyone can agree the introductions did not need to be 30 minutes long ever again. This is the next change for Adam Silver to make, and it should be a much simpler process than fixing the actual game. As for the anthem ...

Fergie went for it with an extended anthem rendition, and she, uh, didn't quite land it. The funniest moment of the night came when the arena cameras caught Draymond Green as his brain shut off somewhere during minute eight of the Fergie anthem. The whole stadium burst out laughing, forcing Draymond to crack a smile, himself. For me, this made the Fergie anthem worth it.

5. Michael Jordan is up next. The crowd in L.A. was sleepy for most of the night, but late in the fourth quarter fans erupted for Michael Jordan as the league announced that Charlotte is hosting the 2019 All-Star Game. So there you go. Til next year...

AGX47. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Lebron James (R) and Kevin Durant (L) of Team Lebron celebrate after defeating Team Stephen during the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
AGX47. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Lebron James (R) and Kevin Durant (L) of Team Lebron celebrate after defeating Team Stephen during the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
AGX47. Los Angeles (United States), 19/02/2018.- Lebron James (R) and Kevin Durant (L) of Team Lebron celebrate after defeating Team Stephen during the 2018 All-Star game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 February 2018. (Baloncesto, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MIKE NELSON SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
Giannis Antetokounmpo power steps by Kevin Durant to the basket for a vicious dunk.
Giannis Rocks the Rim
Giannis Antetokounmpo power steps by Kevin Durant to the basket for a vicious dunk.
Giannis Antetokounmpo power steps by Kevin Durant to the basket for a vicious dunk.
Giannis Rocks the Rim
Giannis Antetokounmpo power steps by Kevin Durant to the basket for a vicious dunk.
Giannis Antetokounmpo power steps by Kevin Durant to the basket for a vicious dunk.
Giannis Rocks the Rim
Giannis Antetokounmpo power steps by Kevin Durant to the basket for a vicious dunk.
Giannis Antetokounmpo power steps by Kevin Durant to the basket for a vicious dunk.
Giannis Rocks the Rim
Giannis Antetokounmpo power steps by Kevin Durant to the basket for a vicious dunk.
Kevin Durant passes to Russell Westbrook for the and-one layup.
Westbrook And-One Layup
Kevin Durant passes to Russell Westbrook for the and-one layup.
Kevin Durant passes to Russell Westbrook for the and-one layup.
Westbrook And-One Layup
Kevin Durant passes to Russell Westbrook for the and-one layup.
Kevin Durant passes to Russell Westbrook for the and-one layup.
Westbrook And-One Layup
Kevin Durant passes to Russell Westbrook for the and-one layup.
Kevin Durant passes to Russell Westbrook for the and-one layup.
Westbrook And-One Layup
Kevin Durant passes to Russell Westbrook for the and-one layup.
Team Stephen&#39;s DeMar Derozan, left, of the Toronto Raptors, shoots as Team LeBron&#39;s Kevin Durant, second from left, of the Golden State Warriors, Kyrie Irving, second from right, of the Boston Celtics, and Russell Westbrook, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, defend during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's DeMar Derozan, left, of the Toronto Raptors, shoots as Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, second from left, of the Golden State Warriors, Kyrie Irving, second from right, of the Boston Celtics, and Russell Westbrook, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, defend during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team Stephen's DeMar Derozan, left, of the Toronto Raptors, shoots as Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, second from left, of the Golden State Warriors, Kyrie Irving, second from right, of the Boston Celtics, and Russell Westbrook, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, defend during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Team LeBron&#39;s Kevin Durant, right, of the Golden State Warriors, shoots as Team Stephen&#39;s James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, defends during the first half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, right, of the Golden State Warriors, shoots as Team Stephen's James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, defends during the first half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Team LeBron's Kevin Durant, right, of the Golden State Warriors, shoots as Team Stephen's James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, defends during the first half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
The likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant were backed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Silver supports NBA players speaking out on social issues
The likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant were backed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
<p>LOS ANGELES — Team LeBron defeated Team Steph 148–145 in this year’s All-Star game, in what became a little bit of a thriller in the final minutes. In the first year of the NBA’s new draft format, Team LeBron overcame multiple first-half deficits to bring the 2018 All-Star Game within two at the midway point, and kept it close before James himself scored the go-ahead bucket with some help from … Kyrie, of course.</p><p>Here are The Crossover’s totally all-important, completely objective and analytical player grades for both teams.</p><h3><strong>STARTERS</strong></h3><p><strong>LEBRON JAMES, Cavaliers</strong></p><p>LeBron drafted a pretty good team on paper, and they actually kind of played defense, which was more than the Cavs had to say for the first few months of the season. Plus, he played well! It would have been sort of bad if LeBron didn’t lead Team LeBron in scoring. He clearly cared about putting on a show, with some threes, some beautiful assists, a number of highlight dunks and one Dirk-style fadeaway. It’s often par for the course when we write about LeBron playing well, but it was nonetheless enjoyable to watch.</p><p>The All-Star game is a nice reminder that the most difficult plays LeBron makes regularly are typically better than everyone else’s best. He was two assists short of a triple-double and deserved the MVP award (which he got).</p><p><strong>Grade: A+</strong></p><p><strong>KEVIN DURANT, Warriors</strong></p><p>Only sort of living up to his billing as the top pick in the All-Star draft, KD sprinkled in the buckets here and there. He was Team LeBron’s third-leading scorer. His defense on DeMar DeRozan helped seal the game.</p><p><strong>Grade: B</strong></p><p><strong>ANTHONY DAVIS, Pelicans </strong></p><p>Davis came out wearing Cousins’s number zero jersey in a solid piece of early free-agent recruitment. He’s the perfect lob target, so he’s fun in All-Star games despite only playing 17 minutes. He was nice enough to allow Andre Drummond to start the second half, but finished as a -18.</p><p><strong>Grade: B-</strong></p><p><strong>RUSSELL WESTBROOK, Thunder</strong></p><p>One of the night’s biggest surprises was that Russ didn’t even come out gunning as hard as he usually does in these things. He basically only shot threes and missed most of them, focusing on setting up teammates instead. But like, in the All-Star game, we really just want to see him dunk.</p><p><strong>Grade: C</strong></p><p><strong>KYRIE IRVING, Celtics</strong></p><p>Because of his handle, Kyrie is never not entertaining to watch. You half expected him to be in full Uncle Drew garb, and he really stepped up in the game’s final minutes. He assisted LeBron for a go-ahead bucket in the final minute of the game and led his team in dimes. Yay, friends!</p><p><strong>Grade: B+</strong></p><h3><strong>RESERVES</strong></h3><p>We’ll go in alphabetical order for democratic purposes.</p><p><strong>LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, Spurs</strong></p><p>He didn’t really do anything and only played four minutes.</p><p><strong>Grade: N/A</strong></p><p><strong>BRADLEY BEAL, Wizards</strong></p><p>Beal got pretty hot from outside, which is what he’s supposed to do in an All-Star game. The third quarter was kind of a heat check for him. It ended, but it was helpful if you operate under the assumption he wanted to win the game.</p><p><strong>Grade: A-</strong></p><p><strong>GORAN DRAGIC, Heat</strong></p><p>Dragic only played 11 minutes, but it was his first All-Star game, he had family in from Slovenia and because he made it here, a select few got to hear Kevin Hart botch the pronunciation of “Slovenia” before the game. It wasn’t the only thing Kevin Hart screwed up. I have no strong feelings about Goran’s performance otherwise.</p><p><strong>Grade: N/A</strong></p><p><strong>ANDRE DRUMMOND, Pistons</strong></p><p>Drummond was seen on a couple occasions actually playing defense. He had some dunks and didn’t miss a shot, mostly because he was dunking in the All-Star game, but also had a couple of nice floaters. It looked like he cared. For an athletic big guy coming off the bench, what else can you ask for?</p><p><strong>Grade: B+</strong></p><p><strong>PAUL GEORGE, Thunder</strong></p><p>It was a homecoming game for George, but not really an efficient one. He began to heat up late, but spent a lot of time blending in. He got outshined by DeMar DeRozan.</p><p><strong>Grade: C+</strong></p><p><strong>VICTOR OLADIPO, Pacers</strong></p><p>Oladipo’s third-quarter steal and breakaway reverse dunk was cool, and I give the guy props for making the team with Paul George after being traded for…Paul George. That was really it.</p><p><strong>Grade: C+</strong></p><p><strong>KEMBA WALKER, Hornets</strong></p><p>Kemba added some scoring punch and was a plus-7 in 14 minutes. He’s auditioning for next year’s game in Charlotte, assuming he doesn’t get traded.</p><p><strong>Grade: B+</strong></p><p><strong>THE LOS ANGELES NIGHTLIFE</strong></p><p>Team LeBron shot 32.8 percent from three-point range, and far worse than that on jump shots, probably. The two teams combined to go 36–123 from outside.</p><p><strong>Grade: A+</strong></p><p><strong>FERGIE</strong></p><p>The national anthem was … something. It was full of awkwardly jazzy vocal runs and uncouth embellishment. You don’t even have to have an opinion about the anthem to know that it was a bad rendition. You can’t spell Fergalicious without an F. But it did gift us the night’s best meme, in conjunction with a bemused Draymond Green.</p><p>From an unintentional humor standpoint, it was actually the peak of the night. But, we don’t grade on that scale here. We take this thing seriously.</p><p><strong>Grade: F</strong></p><p>- Jeremy Woo</p><h3><strong>Starters</strong></h3><p><strong>STEPHEN CURRY, Warriors</strong></p><p>Curry played like he spent too much time at the Brita party Saturday night. I need to see Steph pull up from way behind the three-point line when he plays in All-Star games. No more floaters. And what’s with the headband? It looked more like Steph’s cousin was playing in the first half.</p><p><strong>Grade: D</strong></p><p><strong>DEMAR DEROZAN, Raptors</strong></p><p>DeRozan scored often when he was on the court, flashing a nice two-man game with his Raptors teammate Kyle Lowry. You have to imagine DeRozan had a little extra pep in his step with SI’s Ben Golliver in attendance. (Ed. note: DeRozan did not have an extra pep in his step because of Ben Golliver.)</p><p><strong>Grade: B</strong></p><p><strong>JAMES HARDEN, Rockets</strong></p><p>Harden was inefficient and didn’t do any of his cool moves! Where were the dribble fakes? Why didn’t he lull any defenders to sleep? Harden was playing for his own coach and still ended with a game-worst minus-21. It was like Game 6 against the Spurs all over again.</p><p><strong>Grade: D</strong></p><p><strong>GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, Bucks</strong></p><p>Giannis was one of the few players to try for a full 48 minutes. His jumper needs work if he’s truly going to dominate a game like this one, but he brought a youthful bounce to the proceedings.</p><p><strong>Grade: B+</strong></p><p><strong>JOEL EMBIID, 76ers</strong></p><p>Embiid provided one of the best moments of the game when he hit a three over Russell Westbrook, then blocked Westbrook and stared him down on the very next possession. Like his fellow unicorn Giannis, Embiid was one of the few players to try for the entire night. He wasn’t afraid to shoot, but I was surprised he didn’t fool around more on the court. It was also fun as hell to see Embiid receive post touches against LeBron down the stretch.</p><p><strong>Grade: B+</strong></p><h3><strong>Reserves</strong></h3><p><strong>JIMMY BUTLER, Timberwolves</strong></p><p>Butler didn’t play Sunday night. He better hope Tom Thibodeau never coaches an All-Star game.</p><p><strong>Grade: Tired</strong></p><p><strong>DRAYMOND GREEN, Warriors</strong></p><p>Draymond provided the highlight of the night with his reaction to Fergie’s national anthem. He really didn’t do much else, but it doesn’t matter. Dray certified his legacy by failing to hide his emotions during the anthem, embodying the way the rest of us felt.</p><p><strong>Grade: A</strong></p><p><strong>AL HORFORD, Celtics</strong></p><p>I mean, sure, Al Horford played in this game. There’s really not much more to say than that.</p><p><strong>Grade: C</strong></p><p><strong>DAMIAN LILLARD, Trail Blazers</strong></p><p>Lillard played this game like Curry should have. Dame deserved to be on the court down the stretch, finishing with 21 points as his teammates closed out the game. Lillard wasn’t afraid to pull up from deep and I’m curious how hot he could’ve gotten with a little more playing time.</p><p><strong>Grade: A</strong></p><p><strong>KYLE LOWRY, Raptors </strong></p><p>I really liked the way Lowry played this game! He didn’t take any crazy shots, and he seemed happy to fulfill point guard duties and set up everyone else on the court. Every All-Star game needs a player like Lowry.</p><p><strong>Grade: B+</strong></p><p><strong>KLAY THOMPSON, Warriors</strong></p><p>Klay was Klay and not much else, if that makes sense. He shot 10 threes and hit half of them. He looked like he was going through the motions, but he’s such a good shooter than he can still rip 50% shooting from three at half-speed.</p><p><strong>Grade: B-</strong></p><p><strong>KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS, Timberwolves</strong></p><p>Towns was gunning! He looked like he was going for MVP in the first half, letting it fly from all over the court. Towns finished with a cool 17 points, 10 rebounds and—my favorite part—0 assists. I don’t recall if KAT ever shared the court with Giannis and Embiid, but I hope to see a lot more of that in the future.</p><p><strong>Grade: B+</strong></p><p>- Rohan Nadkarni</p>
2018 NBA All-Star Report Card: Grading Every Player (and a Few Moments) From the NBA All-Star Game

LOS ANGELES — Team LeBron defeated Team Steph 148–145 in this year’s All-Star game, in what became a little bit of a thriller in the final minutes. In the first year of the NBA’s new draft format, Team LeBron overcame multiple first-half deficits to bring the 2018 All-Star Game within two at the midway point, and kept it close before James himself scored the go-ahead bucket with some help from … Kyrie, of course.

Here are The Crossover’s totally all-important, completely objective and analytical player grades for both teams.

STARTERS

LEBRON JAMES, Cavaliers

LeBron drafted a pretty good team on paper, and they actually kind of played defense, which was more than the Cavs had to say for the first few months of the season. Plus, he played well! It would have been sort of bad if LeBron didn’t lead Team LeBron in scoring. He clearly cared about putting on a show, with some threes, some beautiful assists, a number of highlight dunks and one Dirk-style fadeaway. It’s often par for the course when we write about LeBron playing well, but it was nonetheless enjoyable to watch.

The All-Star game is a nice reminder that the most difficult plays LeBron makes regularly are typically better than everyone else’s best. He was two assists short of a triple-double and deserved the MVP award (which he got).

Grade: A+

KEVIN DURANT, Warriors

Only sort of living up to his billing as the top pick in the All-Star draft, KD sprinkled in the buckets here and there. He was Team LeBron’s third-leading scorer. His defense on DeMar DeRozan helped seal the game.

Grade: B

ANTHONY DAVIS, Pelicans

Davis came out wearing Cousins’s number zero jersey in a solid piece of early free-agent recruitment. He’s the perfect lob target, so he’s fun in All-Star games despite only playing 17 minutes. He was nice enough to allow Andre Drummond to start the second half, but finished as a -18.

Grade: B-

RUSSELL WESTBROOK, Thunder

One of the night’s biggest surprises was that Russ didn’t even come out gunning as hard as he usually does in these things. He basically only shot threes and missed most of them, focusing on setting up teammates instead. But like, in the All-Star game, we really just want to see him dunk.

Grade: C

KYRIE IRVING, Celtics

Because of his handle, Kyrie is never not entertaining to watch. You half expected him to be in full Uncle Drew garb, and he really stepped up in the game’s final minutes. He assisted LeBron for a go-ahead bucket in the final minute of the game and led his team in dimes. Yay, friends!

Grade: B+

RESERVES

We’ll go in alphabetical order for democratic purposes.

LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, Spurs

He didn’t really do anything and only played four minutes.

Grade: N/A

BRADLEY BEAL, Wizards

Beal got pretty hot from outside, which is what he’s supposed to do in an All-Star game. The third quarter was kind of a heat check for him. It ended, but it was helpful if you operate under the assumption he wanted to win the game.

Grade: A-

GORAN DRAGIC, Heat

Dragic only played 11 minutes, but it was his first All-Star game, he had family in from Slovenia and because he made it here, a select few got to hear Kevin Hart botch the pronunciation of “Slovenia” before the game. It wasn’t the only thing Kevin Hart screwed up. I have no strong feelings about Goran’s performance otherwise.

Grade: N/A

ANDRE DRUMMOND, Pistons

Drummond was seen on a couple occasions actually playing defense. He had some dunks and didn’t miss a shot, mostly because he was dunking in the All-Star game, but also had a couple of nice floaters. It looked like he cared. For an athletic big guy coming off the bench, what else can you ask for?

Grade: B+

PAUL GEORGE, Thunder

It was a homecoming game for George, but not really an efficient one. He began to heat up late, but spent a lot of time blending in. He got outshined by DeMar DeRozan.

Grade: C+

VICTOR OLADIPO, Pacers

Oladipo’s third-quarter steal and breakaway reverse dunk was cool, and I give the guy props for making the team with Paul George after being traded for…Paul George. That was really it.

Grade: C+

KEMBA WALKER, Hornets

Kemba added some scoring punch and was a plus-7 in 14 minutes. He’s auditioning for next year’s game in Charlotte, assuming he doesn’t get traded.

Grade: B+

THE LOS ANGELES NIGHTLIFE

Team LeBron shot 32.8 percent from three-point range, and far worse than that on jump shots, probably. The two teams combined to go 36–123 from outside.

Grade: A+

FERGIE

The national anthem was … something. It was full of awkwardly jazzy vocal runs and uncouth embellishment. You don’t even have to have an opinion about the anthem to know that it was a bad rendition. You can’t spell Fergalicious without an F. But it did gift us the night’s best meme, in conjunction with a bemused Draymond Green.

From an unintentional humor standpoint, it was actually the peak of the night. But, we don’t grade on that scale here. We take this thing seriously.

Grade: F

- Jeremy Woo

Starters

STEPHEN CURRY, Warriors

Curry played like he spent too much time at the Brita party Saturday night. I need to see Steph pull up from way behind the three-point line when he plays in All-Star games. No more floaters. And what’s with the headband? It looked more like Steph’s cousin was playing in the first half.

Grade: D

DEMAR DEROZAN, Raptors

DeRozan scored often when he was on the court, flashing a nice two-man game with his Raptors teammate Kyle Lowry. You have to imagine DeRozan had a little extra pep in his step with SI’s Ben Golliver in attendance. (Ed. note: DeRozan did not have an extra pep in his step because of Ben Golliver.)

Grade: B

JAMES HARDEN, Rockets

Harden was inefficient and didn’t do any of his cool moves! Where were the dribble fakes? Why didn’t he lull any defenders to sleep? Harden was playing for his own coach and still ended with a game-worst minus-21. It was like Game 6 against the Spurs all over again.

Grade: D

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, Bucks

Giannis was one of the few players to try for a full 48 minutes. His jumper needs work if he’s truly going to dominate a game like this one, but he brought a youthful bounce to the proceedings.

Grade: B+

JOEL EMBIID, 76ers

Embiid provided one of the best moments of the game when he hit a three over Russell Westbrook, then blocked Westbrook and stared him down on the very next possession. Like his fellow unicorn Giannis, Embiid was one of the few players to try for the entire night. He wasn’t afraid to shoot, but I was surprised he didn’t fool around more on the court. It was also fun as hell to see Embiid receive post touches against LeBron down the stretch.

Grade: B+

Reserves

JIMMY BUTLER, Timberwolves

Butler didn’t play Sunday night. He better hope Tom Thibodeau never coaches an All-Star game.

Grade: Tired

DRAYMOND GREEN, Warriors

Draymond provided the highlight of the night with his reaction to Fergie’s national anthem. He really didn’t do much else, but it doesn’t matter. Dray certified his legacy by failing to hide his emotions during the anthem, embodying the way the rest of us felt.

Grade: A

AL HORFORD, Celtics

I mean, sure, Al Horford played in this game. There’s really not much more to say than that.

Grade: C

DAMIAN LILLARD, Trail Blazers

Lillard played this game like Curry should have. Dame deserved to be on the court down the stretch, finishing with 21 points as his teammates closed out the game. Lillard wasn’t afraid to pull up from deep and I’m curious how hot he could’ve gotten with a little more playing time.

Grade: A

KYLE LOWRY, Raptors

I really liked the way Lowry played this game! He didn’t take any crazy shots, and he seemed happy to fulfill point guard duties and set up everyone else on the court. Every All-Star game needs a player like Lowry.

Grade: B+

KLAY THOMPSON, Warriors

Klay was Klay and not much else, if that makes sense. He shot 10 threes and hit half of them. He looked like he was going through the motions, but he’s such a good shooter than he can still rip 50% shooting from three at half-speed.

Grade: B-

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS, Timberwolves

Towns was gunning! He looked like he was going for MVP in the first half, letting it fly from all over the court. Towns finished with a cool 17 points, 10 rebounds and—my favorite part—0 assists. I don’t recall if KAT ever shared the court with Giannis and Embiid, but I hope to see a lot more of that in the future.

Grade: B+

- Rohan Nadkarni

<strong>UPDATE:</strong> <a href="http://deadline.com/tag/lebron-james/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:LeBron James" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">LeBron James</a> spoke after the afternoon NBA all-star game sessions, vowing that he will continue to &#8220;talk about what&#8217;s really important.&#8221; James made his first comments following <a href="http://deadline.com/tag/fox-news/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fox News" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fox News</a> host <a href="http://deadline.com/tag/laura-ingraham/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Laura Ingraham" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Laura Ingraham</a>&#8217;s &#8220;shut up and dribble&#8221; comments last week, in which she took James and fellow hoopster Kevin Durant to task for criticizing President Donald Trump. James initially made a social media post as a retort, leaving others to comment on his behalf. Saturday was a&#8230;
LeBron James Speaks Out On “Shut Up And Dribble” Comments
UPDATE: LeBron James spoke after the afternoon NBA all-star game sessions, vowing that he will continue to “talk about what’s really important.” James made his first comments following Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s “shut up and dribble” comments last week, in which she took James and fellow hoopster Kevin Durant to task for criticizing President Donald Trump. James initially made a social media post as a retort, leaving others to comment on his behalf. Saturday was a…

What to Read Next