Team LeBron defeated Team Durant 163-160 in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game as Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James hit the game-winner to improve to 5-0 as a general manager in the game.
It was a very casual start to the game with Team LeBron and Team Durant happily conceding baskets, though LeBron James roused the crowd with his first dunk. Team LeBron took a 10-point lead, but Team Durant quickly closed the gap with a run highlighted by Ja Morant’s 180 alley-oop.
Karl-Anthony Towns gave Team Durant their first lead of the night with a pair of transition dunks, but James quickly answered with a corner three to tie things up at 32-32. Luka Doncic nailed a pair of threes at the end of the period and Team LeBron won the first quarter 47-45. With that, James won money for his LeBron James Foundation.
The first-time Cleveland Cavalier All-Stars in Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen kicked things off in the second with seven quick points to give Team LeBron a 9-7 lead. The other first-timers LaMelo Ball and Dejounte Murray hooked up for a lob, while Devin Booker nailed a triple to give Team Durant a 20-17 advantage.
Stephen Curry heated up from beyond the arc, nailing four 3-pointers including a pair of deep bombs from close to half court. Curry remained hot shooting from beyond the arc, but Joel Embiid matched him on the other end and Team Durant would win quarter two 49-46.
At the half, Team Durant led Team LeBron 94-93 in the total score.
Team Durant got off to a fast start in the third as Embiid propelled them to a 14-6 lead before Curry answered to close the gap. Curry continued to shoot lights out, hitting a string of difficult looks and even attempting one from half-court.
Giannis Antetokounmp, in true fashion, played hard on both ends while Curry knocked down more threes to keep Team LeBron within striking distance. Antetokoumpo got open for a few more uncontested dunks and the two teams tied 45-45 after the third, but Team Durant led 139-138 going into the final period.
With a target score of 163, defenses finally tightened up between the two squads with Embiid and Curry leading the way for their respective teams. Ball put Team Durant up two, but Antetokounmpo answered with a baseline jumper to tie it at 155-155.
DeMar DeRozan nailed his patented turnaround at the elbow to bring Team LeBron to within two points of the target score, but Zach LaVine responded with a three to give Team Durant a chance. Fittingly enough, however, James iced the game in his hometown of Cleveland with a jumper over LaVine to give Team LeBron the win.
Curry was rightfully named the inaugural NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP after scoring 50 points and breaking the game’s 3-point record.
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