The 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend culminated in what was an epic, record-breaking game between the East and West NBA All-Stars that was definitely one for the books. The East team rallied from an 18-point deficit, finished strong and came away with the 163-155 victory. The combined 318 points tallied by both teams is a new high, which broke the record of 303 set in 1987. The Eastern Conference All-Stars’ 163 points is also a new best, with the previous record being 155 set in 2003.
Most All-Star games are normally characterized by flashy plays, break-away dunks and tons of scoring. In this particular encounter, the East squad turned up their defensive effort far sooner than normal nor expected, which was a clear indication of how much they truly wanted to come away with the win from the get-go. This victory snaps the West’s 3-year winning streak, thus transferring the honor and its accompanying bragging rights back to the East coast.
West starters Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin both ended with a tie for game-high scoring honors with 38 points. Their output puts them in a three-way tie with Rick Barry (1967) for third place in most points scored in an all-star game. Wilt Chamberlain’s 42 points in 1962 tops the list, while Michael Jordan’s 40 points in 1988 comes in at a close second.
Chris Paul chipped in 11 points and 13 assists, while first-time starter Stephen Curry added 12 points and 11 assists.
Durant and Griffin’s combined 72-point effort was still not enough to keep the East at bay. They were led by game M.V.P. Kyrie Irving, who ended the night with 31 points and 14 assists. Carmelo Anthony was on fire from downtown as he nailed eight of his thirteen shots from three-point range, en route to 30 points. His eight triples made in an all-star game is also a new record set, the previous being six (achieved twice). LeBron James finished with a stat-sheet-stuffing line with 22 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
All-Star Saturday Results:
San Antonio Spurs’ Marco Bellinelli won the three-point shooting competition
Washington Wizards’ John Wall won the Slam Dunk contest
Damian Lillard and Trey Burke won the Skills Challenge competition