Final Score: West 143, East 138
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Not only are the Clippers the best team in Los
Angeles, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin showcased in front of the world why
they could be the best in the entire league.
Paul tallied 20 points and 15 assists, many of which went to Griffin for a
plethora of highlight-reel dunks, in the West's 143-138 win over the East in
the 62nd edition of the NBA All-Star Game.
Paul, who became the first Clipper to win the game's MVP, became the third
player in All-Star Game history to record at least 20 points and 15 assists in
the contest. Isiah Thomas did it in 1984, while Magic Johnson accomplished the
feat in 1985.
"Pretty special," Paul said of winning the MVP. "It's something I've never
done. And it's something that I definitely coming into the game I wasn't
trying to achieve or thinking that it might even be possible."
Griffin finished with 19 points on nine field goals -- all dunks -- for the
West, which won its third straight All-Star Game and fourth in the past five
Michael Jordan's comments earlier in the week, in which he stated that he'd
take Kobe Bryant over LeBron James, fueled a mini one-on-one battle down the
stretch between the superstars.
Bryant got the better of the matchup as he blocked James twice, once on a
pull-up jumper at the top of the key and the other on James' driving layup
along the left baseline.
"It was all in good spirit," James said of the head-to-head showdown. "It was
just two guys who love to compete, love to go at it. It was a lot of fun."
Kevin Durant picked up right where he left off in Los Angeles and Orlando,
tallying 30 points and becoming the first player to net at least 30 in three
The former Oklahoma City teammates, Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden
all began the second quarter on the floor at the same time. Playing in front
of his home crowd, Harden had 15 points.
"It was fun," Durant said of playing with Harden. "Playing with him today made
me miss him a little bit. I'm happy he was the All-Star, especially in the
city he plays in."
Carmelo Anthony led the East with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while James ended
with 19 points, but on just 7-of-18 shooting, after becoming the first player
in NBA history to score at least 30 points on 60-plus percent shooting in six
No one may have had a better All-Star Weekend than Kyrie Irving. He had 32
points in the Rising Stars Challenge, won the 3-Point Shootout on Saturday
night after making 17 of his first 18 shots in the final round before
finishing with 23, and registered 15 points in his first All-Star Game.
Out of the six first-time All-Stars on the East, Paul George led them with 17
The West, which never led by more than eight through the first three periods,
took its first double-digit lead with 2:34 left.
After Bryant first blocked James, Durant found himself alone for a dunk for a
136-126 West advantage. Paul's pull-up 3-pointer with Joakim Noah in his face
a bit later made it 139-128 and appeared to seal it, but George came back with
back-to-back triples from the left corner to cut the deficit to 139-134.
But Griffin split a pair from the foul line, and Bryant stripped James, which
led to Griffin throwing a pass off the backboard to himself before finishing
with a powerful two-handed dunk to seal the win.
A trio of James dunks highlighted the opening frame, but the West took a 31-26
edge into the second.
James threw down a two-handed flush off a Dwyane Wade pass off the backboard,
had a one-handed finish off an Anthony lob on a 3-on-1 break, and capped his
personal trifecta by taking off from the dotted line on another break and
reaching way back before thunderously sending the ball home.
The only one who didn't seem to have fun Sunday was Chris Bosh, who shot a
pair of air balls and was the recipient of some fancy dribbling from Paul and
Tony Parker in the second.
Paul dribbled between Bosh's legs along the right baseline, and later in the
period, Parker went through the wickets of Bosh again along the right wing.
Brook Lopez's one-handed bounce pass to a cutting Jrue Holiday, who ferciously
dunked the ball in with his left hand, gave the East its first advantage at
41-40, with 8:11 to go in the period.
Paul showed off his extraordinary passing skills from there.
Paul displayed some fancy dribbling before his behind-the-back bounce pass
hit a cutting Durant in stride and he took off from just inside the right
elbow for a ferocious one-handed stuff.
After a few alley-oops from Paul to Griffin, the city of Los Angeles teamed
together for a dunk. Paul found Bryant with a pass along the right baseline
and Bryant's tip-pass to Griffin led to a one-handed finish.
The West took a 69-65 cushion into the break.
Wade had nine of his 21 points in the third, which was highlighted by Dwight
Howard's 3-point make, but the West held a 108-104 spread going into the final
In the two other times that the city of Houston hosted the All-Star Game, Karl
Malone was the MVP in 1989, while James took home the hardware in 2006 ...
There were 22 lead changes and seven ties in the contest ... The West shot
55.4 percent (62-of-112) from the floor, while the East finished at 49.5
percent (54-of-109). Bryant had nine points and eight assists.
02/18 00:51:56 ET
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