They did it — the mad scientists in the league office actually made the NBA All-Star game fun again! However, as wildly entertaining as the game was, the end result was the one most people expected: Team LeBron beating Team Giannis. What people probably didn’t expect, though, was the final score: 157-155.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how the night unfolded.
Team LeBron were in complete control in the first quarter, winning 53-41. The 53 points they scored in the first quarter were the most scored by any team in a quarter in an NBA All-Star game. Kawhi Leonard led the way for team LeBron with 12 points on a perfect 4-4 shooting from behind the arc, but the hometown kid, Anthony Davis, wasn’t too far behind with 9 points.
The juice that Team LeBron had in the first quarter was nowhere to be found in the second quarter, as Team Giannis trampled Team LeBron 51-30. Their 21-point advantage in the second quarter was enough for them to take a 9-point cumulative lead at the half, setting both teams up for an electric third quarter.
Historically speaking, the NBA All-Star game doesn’t heat up until the third quarter, but with the new format, things started getting interesting — so interesting that both teams ended the quarter knotted up at 41-41, pushing the $100k charity money to the fourth quarter.
At long last, the NBA has figured out a way to get its best players to play hard in a game that has no real meaning. There were controversial calls, divisive replays and defense — players were playing championship-level defense in an NBA All-Star game. It was insane.
The game ended with Anthony Davis draining a game-winning free throw. He could have finished things off a little sooner, but he split his free throws, missing the first one. Davis ended his night with 20 points, 9 rebounds and three steals. Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 30 points.