The 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend culminated this Sunday with its marquee even the NBA All-Star Game. The game featured some of today’s most popular and most talented players in the NBA. The Western conference All-Stars ended up taking this one down 196-173, in what would be the highest-ever scoring all-star game. This game game was also special for a few other reasons. It was the first one held outside of the United States, hosted by the Toronto Raptors in Canada. This would also be the final all-star game of future Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant, who is making his 18th All-Star Game appearance.
Like most All-Star games before this one, the game was less about defense and more about the players having fun and putting on a good show for the fans in attendance and the millions watching at home to enjoy. East all-star Paul George topped all scorers with 41 points, just one point shy of tying Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star record which he set in 1962. George was unaware about the record he was close to breaking during the game, but admittedly was surprised when Draymond Green started defending him more closely during the dying minutes of the final quarter. Despite Paul George’s scoring explosion for the night, it would be Russell Westbrook who took home the game’s Most Valuable Player award, his second straight. He is the first player to ever win the award in back-to-back All-Star games. He ended the night with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals.
In the other events that took place over the weekend, Golden State’s Klay Thompson won the three-point shooting competition, while Minnesota’s Zach Lavine would go on to win his back-to-back Slam Dunk championship. Lavine defeated Orlando’s Aaron Gordon in what was touted as one of the best slam dunk competitions of all-time, drawing comparisons to the duel between Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan in the 80s. It was also impressive to see rookie Karl-Anthony Towns win the Skills Challenge.
With the 2016 All-Star break now in the books the fans now look forward to the second half of the NBA season to kick off on Friday, February 19th.