NBA All-Star weekend has come and gone in Houston, with the Western Conference All-Stars notching their third straight All-Star Game victory in the contest. The West topped the East, 143-138, Sunday night as we said goodbye to Kevin Hart cameos and Alicia Keys' leather sweatpants.
Chris Paul dropped 20 points along with 15 dimes while acquiring his first All-Star Game MVP honors, along with becoming the first player representing the Los Angeles Clippers to be named MVP of the exhibition. "It's something that I definitely, coming into the game, I wasn't trying to achieve or thinking that it might even be possible," Paul said of the award.
So, how did CP3 have such an easy time dishing and diming to a handful of players he plays with only once a year in the All-Star Game (aside from Blake Griffin, who he clearly was on the same page with as he repeatedly set him up)? Synergy. As in, MySynergySports.com: an NBA video database that indexes basketball action categorically. Via USA Today's Jeff Zilgitt:
"I watch basketball all day, every day. My son, my wife, we sit there — I'm on this thing called Synergy day in and day out watching basketbal."
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 points, repeatedly gliding through the paint for uncontested dunks. Hey, it's the All-Star Game after all. This is the third straight All-Star Game in which Durant scored at least 30 points.
Carmelo Anthony led the Eastern Conference in scoring with 26 points. LeBron James picked up another record, eclipsing teammate Ray Allen's All-Star Game record of career three-point field goals made when he sunk the 23rd three of his career in the contest during the third quarter. James finished the night with 19 points and five assists.
Still, perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the game came in the final quarter, where Kobe Bryant asked to be assigned the task of slowing LeBron James down one-on-one. As Tony Parker said, via Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears.
"He was talking during the timeout saying he wanted to take [James] one-on-one, and he did a pretty good job."
Kobe's clock is ticking, and in the past he has made it a point to chirp at LeBron during the All-Star Game. During last year's All-Star Game, Bryant chided LeBron for not taking the final shot. In Houston, Kobe went after James again, and it turned into two blocks that had everybody buzzing.
"I didn't want him to score on me, dammit," Bryant said, via Spears.
LeBron responded by saying it was "all in good spirit." Kobe finished the night with nine points and points assists.
Now, All-Star weekend is in the rear-view as the NBA moves onward toward the trade deadline.