Tonight the BBVA Rising Stars game takes place to kick off the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities. It features the best first and second-year players from the league. They are divided up into two teams; Team USA and Team World. Check out our recap:
Starting for Team World was Dante Exum, Buddy Hield, Nikola Jokic, Kristaps Porzingas, and Dario Saric. For Team USA it was D’Angelo Russell, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Myles Turner and Marquese Chriss.
As expected, the game started out very quick with the World taking an early lead behind some quick transition baskets. Booker hit a three-pointer off a Russell pass to bring USA within one point. Exum delivered the first slam-dunk of the night when he took a handoff from Jokic and went untouched to the basket.
Towns showed off his versatility when he took a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup. Hield, from the hometown New Orleans Pelicans, had 11 quick points to lead all players heading into the first timeout.
Brandon Ingram knocked down his first shot when he pulled up for a midrange jumper. Jahlil Okafor made his presence known quickly when he used his long arms to glide over his defender for two consecutive layups.
After Domantas Sabonis slammed home a pass for the World team, Towns threw down a three-quarter court alley-oop that drew some “oohs and awws” from the crowd.
The World team continued to lead behind some flashy play that got the crowd excited. Malcolm Brogdon lobbed a beautiful pass to Jonathon Simmons for Team USA to bring them within a couple of points of the World team.
Simmons once again slammed home a thunderous dunk to cut the USA team deficit to six points with less than two minutes to play. Before the half was over Exum flew by Okafor and slammed the ball home. Team World leads at the half, 77-66.
The second half started out similar to the first half; fast. Both teams seemingly scored at will. The World Team extended their lead to 11 when Saric drilled a midrange jumper over his defender. Simmons showed his handles when he dribbled around his defender for a high-arching layup for Team USA.
Booker cut the deficit to two when he passed on a three-point attempt and instead took a couple of dribbles in and connected on a short jumper. Frank Kaminsky showed his versatile play by pump-faking a three-point attempt and taking it to the basket for a dunk.
Jamal Murray drilled a three-pointer to put the World team up seven points with 12 minutes left to play. Russell finally showed off a bit when he danced around with the ball and hit a step-back jumper.
A 12-0 run by USA put them in the lead for the first time since the first-half. Kaminsky had a very nice stretch where he knocked down multiple three-pointers.
The World team regained the lead with less than six minutes play behind a couple of shots by Murray.
With USA trailing, Chriss’ slammed home a miss shot attempt that got the fans on their feet. Murray continued his hot shooting when he made his seventh three-pointer of the night to put the World team up eight points with less than three minutes remaining.
Murray’s 36 points propelled the World Team to a 150-141 victory.