Team LeBron prevails late in All-Star Game

Team LeBron prevails late in All-Star Game

While everyone else treated the NBA All-Star Game like a vacation, four-time MVP Kobe Bryant never stopped working, so his torchbearers honored him with the most competitive exhibition ever.

In a tribute to Bryant, the league opted to turn off the clock in the fourth quarter and set a final target score by adding 24 points to the leading team’s total through three quarters. The first three quarters were also mini games within the game, each played for $100,000 to the leading team’s charity of choice. An additional $200,000 was reserved for the winning team’s charity.

It sounds more complicated than it was in reality. All-Stars actually tried. They argued fouls, drew charges and flopped. Giannis Antetokounmpo defended LeBron James with a vengeance. There was a coach’s challenge and a review that negated calls with the game in the balance. It worked.

In the end, it came down to free throws, and Anthony Davis made the second to seal it, 157-155.

“I told my team I was going to miss the first one and put a little more pressure on myself here at home,” Davis, a Chicago native playing at the United Center for the city’s first All-Star Game since 1988, told the TNT broadcast with tongue firmly planted in cheek. “So, I made the miss look good. Back rim. And then I went up to the line, crowd going crazy, Team Giannis booing me … so I just wanted to make sure I put a little extra pressure on myself and knock down the second one.”

Kawhi Leonard won the game’s MVP award, the first named in Bryant’s honor. Leonard scored a game-high 30 points (11-18 FG, 8-14 3P), with seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.

“It means a lot to me,” said Leonard, who was a key contributor to Team LeBron’s closing lineup. “Words can’t even explain making this the first Kobe Bryant MVP trophy. I want to thank Kobe for everything he’s done for me. All the long talks and workouts. Thank you. This one’s for him.”

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Source : Yahoo Sports Link

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