Kobe Bryant scored 37 points as the West team won the 2011 NBA All-Star Game 148-143. LeBron James, the league's MVP in each of the past two seasons, led the East with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. It was only the second All-Star triple double in history; Michael Jordan had 14-10-10 in 1997.
Kobe also had 14 rebounds in 29 minutes, and, given that the West held on despite a serious charge by the East, was the clear choice for MVP honors. Kevin Durant, the NBA's leading scorer and reigning scoring champ, supported Kobe with 34 points. Amar'e Stoudemire had 29 for the East, including a late three-pointer that pulled his team within four points.
The West All-Stars led throughout as Kobe scored at will. That Bryant re-entered the game in the fourth quarter, with the West team up by more than a dozen points, was a clear indication Kobe wanted the All-Star scoring record of 42 points, held by Wilt Chamberlain.
Blake Griffin, the No. 2 star in Los Angeles behind Kobe right now, had a rather muted night. Fans in Staples Center had to chant for the Clippers' rookie in the second half, as Griffin played fewer than 15 minutes off the bench. He finished with eight points, five rebounds and five assists. But he will be content to look at his 2011 Slam Dunk Contest trophy.
Dywane Wade left the game in the third quarter after stepping on Deron Williams' foot. TNT's David Aldridge reported that Wade had aggravated a right ankle injury. He didn't return. Williams, who has struggled with a nagging wrist injury in recent weeks, held his arm during a late huddle.