- Team LeBron defeated Team Durant 170-150 in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo was named MVP after scoring 35 points on 16-16 shooting.
- Damian Lillard added 32 points while Steph Curry scored 28 for Team LeBron.
The NBA-All Star game proceeded on Sunday with a different format and without an audience.
This year’s COVD-19 edition of the All-Star game incorporated the three-point contest and Skills challenge before the game while the Slam Dunk contest took place at halftime. The game was played in a similar format to last year’s game, honoring Bryant with the +24 points in the fourth quarter to come up with the target score which the teams will compete to reach first.
The King’s Court
#TeamLeBron has chosen his #NBAAllStar squad ???? pic.twitter.com/LHelgrtIrw
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 5, 2021
Team Durant played minus captain Kevin Durant who is still injured. Devin Booker also suffered an injury and was replaced by Mike Conley. Meanwhile, Joel Embiid was unable to play due to COVID-19 protocols. To make matters worse for KD’s team, GM LeBron drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, and Nikola Jokic as his fellow starters while making Damian Lillard as his first pick off the bench.
James played only 13 minutes, scoring only 4 points on 2-7 shooting with two rebounds and four assists. But he picked well during the All-Star draft and the players he drafted took turns in putting on a show as Team LeBron prevailed 170-150 while LBJ improved to 4-0 as Team Captain of the All-Star game under the current format.
All-Star GM LeBron is still undefeated ????#NBAAllStar teams drafted by LeBron are now undefeated at 4-0 after beating Team Durant. pic.twitter.com/VSdexQfVPu
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 8, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo was the betting favorite to win MVP honors in the best NBA betting sites and the Greek Freak showed why by leading Team LeBron in scoring with 35 points on a perfect night where he shot 16-16 from the field.
Giannis Takes Home Kia Kobe Bryant MVP Award
Giannis takes home the Kia Kobe Bryant #NBAAllStar Game MVP ???? pic.twitter.com/MfnpLIT6Vw
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 8, 2021
By winning All-Star MVP honors, Antetokounmpo became the third player in the history of the NBA to win NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and All-Star Game MVP in their careers. If we add Giannis’ Most Improved Player Award, he’s in a league all by himself.
The Greek Freak also broke Hal Greer’s record for most makes in an All-Star game without a miss, doubling Greer’s 8-8 performance during the 1968 NBA All-Star game. Antetokounmpo’s mark also set the record for highest field goal percentage in an All-Star game with a minimum of 10 attempts. His 16-16 shooting also came with three three-point baskets, making his feat more impressive as Giannis is just 39-137 or 28.5% from behind the three-point area this season.
More importantly, he got the win this time around. Antetokounmpo led the East All-Star against LeBron James during the previous two NBA seasons and lost both times to Team LeBron. But with Kevin Durant outpointing Giannis in this year’s All-Star voting, LeBron made Antetokounmpo the first overall pick of the 2021 NBA All-Star draft. And Giannis didn’t disappoint.
Dame and Steph
DAME & STEPH FROM HALFCOURT BACK TO BACK @Dame_Lillard @StephenCurry30 pic.twitter.com/bBDfHPuXNr
— Whistle (@WhistleSports) March 8, 2021
While it was Giannis who took home the MVP award, he wasn’t the only one who dazzled for Team LeBron. Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard were also absolute killers for King James’ team as each of them shot 8-16 from behind the three-point arc. Towards the end of the second half, they made back to back three-pointers from halfcourt.
Curry waxed hot to start the game, scoring 22 points at the half while hitting 8 of 11 field goals including 6-8 from downtown. Curry hit a no-look three-pointer in the first quarter. The Warriors’ two-time MVP winner finished the game with 28 points 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in only 22 minutes of action.
Lillard meanwhile didn’t start as hot as Steph Curry but he finished strong. With Team LeBron just three points away from clinching victory in the +24 points format, Lillard stopped from near halfcourt and drilled another incredibly long three-pointer to end the game at 170-150. Lillard finished with 32-points on 11-16 shooting.