With that, we put a bow on the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend.
The festivities ended on Sunday with the NBA All-Star Game as Team LeBron beat Team Durant, 163-160. Once again, the main event was easily the star of what was otherwise a dreary weekend.
First bit of praise goes to the NBA. For the third straight time since the Elam ending was introduced in 2020, the target score ending created a fourth quarter filled with fireworks. The stars were allowed to be stars, and were forced to play competitively with each other (at least for a while), as NBA fans will be left with some lasting memories.
Most of those were created by Team LeBron, who were led by 50 points from Steph Curry — including an All-Star Game record 16 three-pointers (Steph shot 27 of them in total).
50 POINTS for #30.— NBA (@NBA) February 21, 2022
Steph, #TeamLeBron up 151-150.
First to 163 wins #NBAAllStar on TNT & TBS. pic.twitter.com/ZHfD1gh1JQ
Curry made most of those after halftime, as the two teams split the first two quarters and tied the third — ensuring equal amounts of charity for both the groups of kids in attendance. Fun!
For Team Durant, Joel Embiid was dominant, but missed a couple good looks in the final moments while guarded by Jarrett Allen. Still, one of the league’s MVP frontrunners had 36 points on 14-for-20 shooting to lead his squad.
The game ended in classic fashion too, as James made a characteristic fadeaway two to get his team to 163 points. Back home in Cleveland, it’s the most joyous we’ve seen LeBron all year — not a surprise given the dysfunction on his Lakers team.
LEBRON JAMES WINS THE #NBAAllStar GAME FOR #TeamLeBron IN CLEVELAND.— NBA (@NBA) February 21, 2022
Given this and his interview with The Athletic where he left the door open for a Cleveland return... well, one has to start thinking.
Of course, the Toronto Raptors portion of tonight’s game was a solo stage for Fred VanVleet.
The best thing we can say about Fred’s performance is he got some much-needed rest. His nine minutes were all front-loaded to the first half, as he made a pair of threes on 2-for-4 shooting while adding three assists and two rebounds. His best play was this pretty feed to Allen for a dunk.
Doesn’t take long for Fred VanVleet to make an impact in his first run in the All Star Game.— Taylor Eldridge (@tayloreldridge) February 21, 2022
FVV finishes with 3 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists in his 4 minutes, helping Team LeBron win the quarter and $100K for charity. pic.twitter.com/HLNonUhgxL
With Steph shooting like a madman and Darius Garland the local guy, it’s not surprising at all that Fred’s run was limited after the first half. In fact, Raptors fans should probably be happy that VanVleet got to have fun, kick his feet up, and not have to stress too much before Toronto’s stretch run.
Now, I know I’m not alone in heading to YouTube to watch a supercut of Curry’s threes tonight.
What was your favourite moment from the All-Star Game?