Giannis Antetokounmpo and “Team LeBron” won the 70th All Star Game last night in Atlanta.
“Team LeBron” unfolds, Lillard in assassin mode
Smiles, shows and scoring galore: the All Star Game has delighted fans of the genre, failing to give pride of place to licked basketball. And at the end, it’s “Team LeBron”, led by the MVP (see elsewhere) Giannis Antetokounmpo (35 pts), Damian Lillard (32 pts, 8/16 at 3 pts) author of the victory basket and an unchained Stephen Curry (28 pts, 8/16 at 3 pts), who won (170-150). Remember that the all-star game was played on the same format as last year, namely three mini matches of 12 minutes and a last quarter without a stopwatch but with a goal in terms of scoring, 24 points more than the total. of the team leading after 36 minutes, or 170, “Team LeBron” leading 146-122 at that point. The first of the two teams with 170 points therefore removed the bet. But with a 24-point lead, it’s easier… And there were no surprises at the finish. Kawhi Leonard (8 pts, 9 rbs, 8 pts) rose in temperature, James Harden (21 pts, 7/13 to 3 pts) and Bradley Beal (26 pts, 6/12 to 3 pts) too, but Curry, Lillard, Paul George (17 pts, 5/7 at 3 pts) and others were not going to squander a 24 point lead like that.
We note that the match started slowly, with a lot of good humor, little seriousness and Curry on his thrust of the three-point competition in the first quarter (40-39). Overpowered dunk from LeBron James (who only played 13 short minutes in the first period), Kyrie Irving (24 pts, 12 pts) for Zion Williamson or the Celtics duel Jayson Tatum (21 pts) / Jaylen Brown (22 pts ): the show was always there. We especially saw a lot of Curry from afar and the “Greek Freak” up close in this second quarter in the form of a single rider which ended with shots from… the center line of Lillard and Curry, in quick succession (60-41)! The third started well for the “Team Durant”, with in particular the address of Beal, but between the domination of Giannis and the exploits of “PG13” and “Dame”, it was three out of three for “Team LeBron” (46- 45). That is three times $ 150,000 offered for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and another 300,000 for the benefit of the final victory, definitively acquired on a triple signed Lillard, in assassin mode as usual. 24-18 for the “LBJ” team in the 4th quarter.
Disappointing “Team Durant”
Admittedly, the team ridden by Kevin Durant was weakened at the start, with the forfeit of… “KD”, Devin Booker too. Covid-19 contact case, Joel Embiid also had to forfeit this Sunday (like his 76ers teammate Ben Simmons in “Team LeBron”). Nevertheless, this “Team Durant” may not have put all the ingredients to maintain a semblance of suspense at the end of the match after having exploded in full flight in the second quarter (-19). Opposite, boys like Curry, Antetokounmpo or Lillard, to name a few, clearly wanted to have fun and give pleasure to the public, to their teammates. We did not feel that at home. Not enough. Pity…
Antetokounmpo, on target
His line of statistics makes it easy to understand why he was named MVP: 35 points at 16/16 on shots, including 3/3 from far and two with the board, seven rebounds, three assists, an interception and a counter for Giannis Antetokounmpo , in… 19 short minutes of playing time. Simply monstrous. Stephen Curry had madness on his side. The Greek interior of Milwaukee and the “Team LeBron” for its part reigned supreme in painting in Atlanta. Double MVP of the regular season, the “Greek Freak” won the Kobe Bryant trophy for the first time.
Gobert martyrs the circle and shows himself
For his second “ASG”, Rudy Gobert did not reach the same figures as last year, 21 points and 11 rebounds. The 28-year-old international tricolor still split 10 points to 5/6 on shots, seven rebounds and a bonus assist. In particular, we saw him slam a devastating dunk on a down pass from “King James”. 13 minutes in total for Gobert, spread over the first and third quarters.
Curry king of shooters, Simons wins a small dunk competition
And two for Stephen Curry! Already the winner of the three-point shooting contest in 2015, the Golden State point guard lifted the trophy for the second time this Sunday in Atlanta. Last minute guest to compensate for the package of Devin Booker (Phoenix) at the All Star Game and in this contest, Mike Conley had yet set the bar high, with 27 units in the final. This dashed the hopes of Jayson Tatum (Boston, 17 pts) and put pressure on “Chef Curry”. Except that the pressure, he likes it the guy… Curry pocketed the buzzer and on his last basket! Note that Donovan Mitchell (Utah), Zach LaVine (Chicago) and Jaylen Brown (Boston) were eliminated in the first round.
Winner against Nikola Vucevic (Orlando) in the final, Domantas Sabonis (Indiana) had previously won the Skills challenge, the first event of this star-studded evening. The dunks competition, on the other hand, took place at half-time for the “ASG”. And it was Anfernee Simons who dominated him. The Portland rookie notably made his verticality speak to win a competition… average. He got the better of New Yorker Obi Toppin in the final. Cassius Stanley (Indiana) was eliminated after the first round. Anfernee Simons succeeds Derrick Jones Jr.