Team LeBron rallied from an 11-point first-quarter deficit to beat Team Stephen 148-145 in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
LeBron James led his team with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists en route to his third All-Star Game MVP. James selected his team in the NBA’s new “pick-em” format.
Team James had nine players score in double figures, while Team Stephen saw eight players reach double figures. Curry scored just 11 points off four-of-14 shooting.
NEW FORMAT ADDED SUSPENSE
The NBA All-Star Game is usually a lacklustre affair of no defense and crazy shots. While Sunday’s game started off that way, it quickly turned into an actual game as both captains appeared determined to win bragging rights (and the $100,000 bonus).
While a plethora of original All-Star players were injured and out of this game, the replacements stepped in and helped provide a fresh twist on the All-Star experience.
DAMIAN LILLARD PLAYED WITH A PURPOSE
The Trail Blazers’ star point guard has been snubbed from the previous two All-Star teams, and he has been among the first to talk about the disappointment. But this year, Lillard made the team and played like he had something to prove. He finished the game with 21 points, three rebounds and two assists, even earning a start in the second half.
Lillard has received some flack from fellow NBA stars (namely Russell Westbrook) for being so outspoken about his All-Star disappointment, but Lillard is one of the best players in the NBA, and he played like it Sunday.
VICTOR OLADIPO IS NBA’S MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER
When the Pacers traded Paul George to the Thunder, gaining Oladipo in return, many thought they had made a mistake. But Oladipo (averaging 24.4 points per game) has exceeded even the Pacers’ wildest expectations. Not only has Oladipo been scoring, he has looked like a leader, helping the Pacers (33-25) win seven of their last nine games.
Whether Oladipo is donning a Black Panther mask and creating shockwaves at the dunk contest, or high-flying at the All-Star Game, he has looked like one of the elite players the NBA has to offer. Oladipo finished Sunday’s game with seven points, three assists and three steals.