Sunday night, the new-and-improved NBA All-Star Game came to fruition after much anticipation and speculation. The game had a lot of meaning to LeBron James. He picked his own squad. He picked his own charity. He wanted to win. And he did.
Team LeBron James would hold on to defeat Team Stephen Curry, 148-145.
Cleveland’s own James had an impressive night as a team captain. James finished the night with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. He also left Los Angeles with his third All-Star Game MVP trophy. It was an all-around spectacular performance from the King, who was the oldest player in this year’s contest.
James’ step-back three-point shot over Sixers’ star Joel Embiid with 1:30 left tied the game at 144 apiece. The next possession, James hit a layup off of a great Kyrie Irving feed to put Team LeBron up for good, “I played with him a few times,” Irving joked. “I saw the opportunity. I saw, before even Russ even passed to me, LeBron was going to circle to the rim…”
Team LeBron’s fourth-quarter comeback, fueled by James and Irving, showed that this year’s game being played seriously and both sides actually wanted the win. The final two minutes included much drama, questionable replays and a ton of defense.
In light of all the political drama surrounding James this week, on Sunday night, he did a lot more than shut up and dribble.
Photo:Chris Pizzello, AP
Nick Pedone Twitter: @npedone9