(NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA) Smoothie King Arena was the host of this year’s NBA All-Star Game. Won by the Western Conference 190-182 over the Eastern Conference, the festivities provided record breaking performances, entertainment and even top ratings on television, its highest since 2013. Before the second half of the NBA season begins, let’s take a look back on some of the most memorable performances.
Big Man Has the Skills
New York Knicks center, Kristaps Porzingis, one of the tallest NBA players standing at 7-3, scored a perfect final round to win the 2017 Taco Bell Skills challenge against Utah Jazz forward, Gordon Hayward. What gave Porzingis the determination to win?
“With my size and show to the kids that you’re capable of that even if you’re tall and lanky like me,” he tweeted.
Eric Gordon vs Kyrie Irving Go Head to Head During the Three Point Shootout
At the end of the final round of the three point shootout contest, Houston Rockets shooting guard Eric Gordon and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving were tied each at 20 points. Going head to head in overtime, it was Gordon who prevailed winning the contest 21-18. The crowd’s reaction? Boos all over the arena as Gordon formerly played for the home team Pelicans.
The “Greek Freak’s” First All-Star Appearance
Let’s turn our attention to the Eastern Conference All-Stars. Milwaukee Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo made his All-Star debut as the starting center for the East. Known as the “Greek Freak”, the talented 22 year-old from Athens, Greece led the East with 30 points on 14-17 shooting including a monstrous slam dunk over Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s Brief Reunion
Last summer, small forward Kevin Durant left Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors. This led to a deteriorated friendship, and the most talked about ongoing drama leading to the All-Star game. Any friction amongst the former teammates? Not even close – at least on the court. While both players declined to speak on their off court relationship, Durant delighted fans as he scored on an alley-oop pass from Westbrook. Westbrook ended the night with 41 points while Durant scored a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and assists.
Anthony Davis Breaks Wilt Chamberlain’s Record For Most Points Scored and Earns MVP
The most memorable performance of this year’s All-Star Game goes to New Orleans Pelicans Center Anthony Davis. Davis stole the show with a record breaking performance 52 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes, winning the 2017 NBA All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). His performance gave the home crowd something to cheer about as Davis broke Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star record of 42 points.
“It’s amazing. That’s what I wanted to do. I stressed that. I think more than enough, to the guys in the locker room before the game that I wanted to get the MVP for this crowd, for this city, and I ended up doing it. Them guys did a great job of just finding me, giving me the basketball. They wanted me to score 50. Every time, Kawhi [Leonard] was like six more points. Or [Lebron] James was like, I’m going to pass you the ball.
“Them guys did a great job allowing me to do this. I want to thank all of them. This definitely means a lot to me,” said Anthony during postgame.
The NBA kicks off the second half with six games scheduled this Thursday February 23, 2017.
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