The 2017 NBA All-Star weekend hit its climax with the much anticipated All-Star game on Sunday. The West defeated the East, 182-192. As a game that’s primarily a show for the entertainment of the crowd in attendance and the millions tuned in from all over the world, you can’t expect a lot of defense to be played. Players are there to compete because it’s in their nature as competitive athletes, but they’re also there to have a good time and put on a show. And that they did.
And that they did.
All too quickly the game turned into a “Dunkfest” of epic proportions, with players like Anthony Davis (West) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (East) leading the festivities with their dazzling and powerful slams. It was a sight to behold indeed.
Thanks to his aggressiveness, hometown representative, Anthony Davis ended the game with a record-breaking 52 points. He trumped the 42-point record set by Wilt Chamberlain in the 1962 All-Star game. Davis shot 26-of-39 from the field and added 10 rebounds and two steals for the night. His amazing performance earned him the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award.
One of the big highlights of the game took place between former teammates, Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder). Durant moved to the Golden State Warriors in the off-season and he was vilified to a certain extent for “abandoning” his team, which included co-All-Star, Westbrook. Russ checked into the game while Durant was still on the floor, and just like magic, they rekindled some of their on-court rapport. A give-and-go play between the two ended with Westbrook soaring high to receive a lob from Durant and finishing with a slam. The play, the storyline, and the personalities involved brought the house down. Durant would finish the game with an impressive triple-double performance of 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Westbrook was able to score 41 points in just 20 minutes of action. Over half his points came from behind the 3-point arc, as he knocked down 7-of-13 shots from deep.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the East All-Stars with 30 points. LeBron James scored 23 points for the night and set his own All-Star game record, becoming the first player to score more than 300 points in his All-Star career.