All-Star weekend is officially underway with the youth of the NBA putting on a show to set the tone. Team USA ended the night with an exclamation point of a dunk from Jabari Parker in a 157-154 win over the World squad. Zach LaVine started his festivities off on the right foot, taking home Rising Star MVP honors one night before he looks to defend his slam dunk championship. LaVine scored 30 points with seven rebounds and four assists.
Jordan Clarkson was on fire early, draining four threes in the first six minutes of the game. He also helped open up the can of highlight reel dunks with a long touchdown pass to LaVine that ended with a nice smash. It was clear from the opening stretch the youngsters just wanted to get out and stretch their legs a bit, with each team exchanging dunk after dunk. The rookies and sophomores were all smiles as they launched All-Star weekend with a high-scoring game.
D'Angelo Russell checked in for his teammate in the middle of the first half and kept the purple and golden touch from outside rolling. He immediately drained a three from the top of the arc, looking locked in among his young peers. Team USA got moving with the ball in Russell's hands, and in the blink of an eye D'Angelo had 13 points and seven assists, dropping dimes left and right in his stretch of burn int eh first half. The Los Angeles Lakers' backcourt duo was balling, ending the night with a combined 47 points and 12 assists. There may have been more attempted lob passes from Clarkson in this one game than we've seen all season from him with the Lakers.
Air Canada was flying high in Toronto, with Andrew Wiggins smashing home 10 dunks on his way to 29 points. Kristaps Porziginis showed off his shooting touch with five three-pointers but was also dunking all over the inside, finishing with 30 points. Emmanuel Mudiay seemingly drove into the paint unimpeded all night as he also put in 30 points.
No defense, no problem. It was just a fun game filled with an endless stream of alley-oop and three-point attempts, but that's what All-Star is here for. This wave of talent has no shortage of offensive talent, and it was evident as they poured in 311 points in 40 minutes of basketball.