On Aug. 5, 2005, then-NBA commissioner David Stern announced the All-Star Game would be held in a city that did not house one of the league’s teams. And so, for the first time in NBA history, Las Vegas served as the backdrop for All-Star Weekend.
While some now look back on the event with mixed emotions because of off-the-court issues, the NBA’s brightest stars did their part to deliver another entertaining game on Feb. 18, 2007. Per usual, a driving force for that was Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
Behind 39 points in the first quarter and 40 points in the second, the Western Conference All-Stars held a 79-59 lead over the East at halftime. While the East attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, it proved futile.
The West set a record with 69 field goals and 52 assists in their 153-132 blowout victory. Bryant scored a game-high 31 points, to go along with five rebounds, six assists and six steals.
The performance earned him MVP honors, which he previously won at the 2002 All-Star Game. While Bryant was unceremoniously booed in his hometown of Philadelphia, fans in Las Vegas were much more delighted at him taking home the game’s top award.
En route to being named MVP, Bryant moved from 11th to 10th place on the all-time All-Star scoring list. He currently ranks second all-time with 290 points scored across 15 All-Star Game selections, though he was limited or did not participate in the exhibition game some years due to injury.
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