The NBA All-Stars did not disappoint the sellout crowd at the Toyota Center who witnessed the West defeat the East All-Stars 143-138.
This was the West’s third consecutive victory over the East since 2011. Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul won the Most Valuable Player Award after scoring 20 points and dishing out 15 assists. He became the first Clippers player to accomplish this feat. Paul made 7-of-10 shots, including four 3-pointers. He already had the best per-game assists average in All-Star history with 12.4.
The 62nd annual game was played in Houston on the same day as Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday. Celebrities were lined up all around courtside representing comedians, entertainers, musical artists and others.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant added a game-high 30 points for the West who had a total of six other players that scored in double-figures. Clippers forward Blake Griffin scored 19 points, followed by Rockets guard James Harden with 15, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook with 14, and Spurs guard Tony Parker with 13 points each.
The Eastern Conference All-Stars did not disappoint either as they too had six players in double-figures led by the Knicks Carmelo Anthony with 26 points and 12 rebounds. The Heat’s Dwayne Wade and Lebron James added 21 and 19 points each, while the Pacers Paul George scored 17, to go along with 15 points scored by the Cavs Kyrie Irving and 10 by the Chicago Bulls Luol Deng.
Here’s a look at some key facts from the West’s win over the East :
*The 15 points scored by James Harden were the most by a Rocket in an All-Star game since Tracy McGrady’s 36 points in 2006.
*Rockets guard James Harden had 13 field-goal attempts in the game, and is now tied for second-most by West players behind Kevin Durant (24).
*There was 59 fast-break points combined: 38 for the West and 21 for the East.
*Eastern Conference guard LeBron James , whose record streak of scoring 20 or more points in seven consecutive NBA All-Star games ended Sunday night with a 19-point performance.
*15 assists by Chris Paul, is now third in All-Star history behind Magic Johnson (22) and Isiah Thomas.
*The Lakers Kobe Bryant has scored 17 points in two All-Star games played in Houston; 8 in 2006 and 9 in 2013.
*Rockets guard Jeremy Lin still remains the NBA’s global favorite despite his departure from New York to Houston.
*The Houston Rockets have continued to remain a popular television attraction, both in China and in Taiwan.
*TNT’s All-Star Saturday Night coverage registered a 4.3 national Nielsen overnight rating, a tenth of a point higher than the 2006 show in Houston and the fourth-highest rating in TNT’s history.
*Next year’s All-Star Game will be played in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the 2015 game likely will be at New York’s refurbished Madison Square Garden or Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
*The Clippers Blake Griffin had 6 first-half slam dunks, including three on assists by Clippers teammate Chris Paul.
*LeBron James has 23 career 3-pointers in All-Star games , which is an NBA record.
*Thunder forward Kevin Durant has scored a total of 115 points in his first three All-Star games, which is an NBA record.
*There were 14 combined minutes played by the Spurs Tim Duncan (eight) and the Celtics Kevin Garnett, both career lows for an All-Star game. Garnett stated prior to the game that this would be his final All-Star game appearance, leaving some speculation that he may retire from the NBA at the end of the season.