After Blake Griffin’s spectacular performance in winning the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday, many wondered if the actual game itself would live up to the expectations of being the most important part of the entire week of planned events.
But Blake Griffin’s Western Conference All-Stars, led by an MVP performance from Kobe Bryant, were able to defeat their Eastern Conference counterparts by a score of 148-143 in a thriller that would live-up to the pre-festivity billing, and was actually very exciting to watch from start to finish.
The game capped-off a tremendous week of All-Star Game festivities in Los Angeles that might go down as one of the all-time best.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge over Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook. New Orleans Hornets All-Star Chris Paul, and Chicago Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose were among the other participants in the skills contest.
The Miami Heat’s James Jones won the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout over reigning champion and the NBA’s all-time three-point scoring leader (Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics).
The series of events shown on TNT beginning last Friday will undoubtedly break any previous television ratings records that were already set. Hometown Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s 37-point performance in the game on Sunday brought this year’s festivities to a fitting end.
The Los Angles Clippers’ star Blake Griffin, playing in his first All-Star game, had eight points, five rebounds, and five assists, as he obviously conceded the star performance of the game to his cross-town rival and All-Star veteran (Kobe Bryant).
LeBron James and Amarie Stoudamire had 29 points a piece for the Eastern Conference All-Stars.
The Eastern Conference had four players from the Boston Celtics on their squad which included Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Paul Pierce, and this was only the fourth time in the history of the event that this has happened.
The NBA’s leading scorer coming into the game (Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant), backed-up Kobe’s performance by scoring 34 points of his own, after getting knocked out of the first round in the three-point shooting contest on Saturday.
There were many spectacular plays from the NBA’s best group of players as voted by the fans and appointed by the coaches.
Chris Paul, Dewayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James showed their usual flashes of brilliance in several on-the-court plays that only an all-star player of their caliber could perform.
Washington Wizard’s star rookie guard John Wall captured the MVP Award in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge by recording a record 22 assists in the game.
Wall won the MVP despite a spectacular scoring performance from his former teammate at Kentucky (DeMarcus Cousins), who scored a game-high 33 points and snagged 14 rebounds.
Cousins would have gotten the MVP for the game under any other circumstances had it not been for the record-breaking assist effort of John Wall.
Teen singing sensation Justin Bieber thrilled the crowd at the BBVA Celebrity Game by doing a crossover dribble and taking home the MVP award for that event, with Laker great Earvin “Magic” Johnson coaching his team to the victory.
NBA Commissioner David Stern was in attendance and former Boston Celtics and Hall of Famer Bill Russell was acknowledged by several players for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award from President Barack Obama last week.
The award is the highest civilian award and recognizes men and women who have made a special contribution to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was indeed another sellout as over 17,000 fans packed the Staples Center in Los Angeles to cheer for the best basketball players in the world.
I’m just saying.
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