Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
Playing point guard as Chris Paul though makes things different. Paul put on his wide array of dribbling moves and got into the paint, toying with the typically lackadaisical all star defense and then picking up his play when the game started to become extremely competitive at the end.
Paul was setting up his teammate Blake Griffin throughout the night and then setting up other teammates on the West with ease, playing around with the defense like putty. When it was his turn to shoot, he took and made the shot. And he was clearly the MVP in the end.
Paul scored 20 points, hitting 7 of 10 shots and dishing out 15 assists. This was his game to control the flow and the offense in a well competed All-Star Game. The third quarter went back and forth and the game was tight at the end causing everyone to step their game up.
It was exactly what you would want out of an All-Star Game. And Paul truly was the star of the stars. His impact was felt everywhere in this game, and of all the players, he was the one to make sure his team closed and got the win.
2: Kobe not passing the torch yet
With the game close, every fan got exactly what they could want — a one on one matchup between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. The league's past against the league's future for the league's present. The great debate of the weekend being settled the way it should be on the court.
LeBron james dominated the rest of the game, scoring 19 points and dishing out five assists. Although he had his worst shooting game in a while going 7 for 18 from beyond the arc. One of those misses though could become the defining moment of the All-Star Game.
LeBron James was indeed tasked with trying to close and keep the East in the game. And he had to stare down Kobe Bryant. On consecutive possessions, Bryant stopped James emphatically.
On the first possession James appeared to get past Bryant but Bryant came from behind and blocked James' shot as he was going up for his shot. The ball went quickly out toward mid court where Kevin Durant picked it up and had a free path to the basket for an easy jam and a two-possession lead.
The next time down the floor, James tried driving down the baseline only to find Bryant there again ready to block his shot. It may not have meant much more than a momentary video of Bryant locking down the "in-the-zone James" but we want to give it some symbolic meaning.
Especially since Kobe Bryant intimated in an interview this weekend that he might play only two more years. If he is locking down James late in a game like this — even in an exhibition game — two years from now, it is hard to see this competitor leaving while he still has fight in him.
Durant up and around
LeBron stars us off right
Griffin takes flight
4: Line of the Night: Kevin Durant — 30 points, 6 rebounds
Kevin Durant became one of the few players to score 30 points in three consecutive All-Star games with another strong performance. He was high flying with his dunks and smooth with his jumpers. Durant continues to develop into more than a superstar in front of us. He plays the game without any effort. And continued to do so among the best players in the league. The West is in good hands.
5: More Highlights!
Westbrook from Harden like old times
Look Melo, one hand!