Team Lebron Closes the Weekend with a Victory

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Team Lebron Closes the Weekend with a Victory

Team Lebron concluded All-Star weekend with a 148-145 victory over Team Steph.

Team Lebron concluded All-Star weekend with a 148-145 victory over Team Steph.

Courtesy of NBA

Team Lebron concluded All-Star weekend with a 148-145 victory over Team Steph.

Courtesy of NBA

Courtesy of NBA

Team Lebron concluded All-Star weekend with a 148-145 victory over Team Steph.

Team Lebron defeated Team Steph 148-145 in the 67th NBA All-Star Game, the first game with the new format. In order to make the game more competitive this year, the league decided to have the two players with the most votes from each conference draft their teams.

This All-Star Weekend was hosted in Los Angeles, marking the sixth time this happened; however, no players from either the Los Angeles Lakers nor the Los Angeles Clippers participated in the game.

The weekend started off on Friday with the celebrity game; Team Clippers won 75-66, with rapper Quavo from the group Migos winning Finals MVP with a strong 19 points. Team Lakers was led by a strong performance by NBA 2KTV host Rachel Demita, who put up 17 points in the loss.

Friday concluded with the Rising Stars Game as Team World easily defeated Team USA 155-124. Sacramento Kings small forward and Team World member Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 26 points off the bench and took home the MVP award. Boston Celtics small forward Jaylen Brown led Team USA with an amazing 35 points.

Saturday began with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, which consists of dribbling through obstacles, a chest pass into a net and the crucial 3-pointer to win the challenge. Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Spencer Dinwiddie won against Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen in the finals of the 8-player bracket.

Following the Taco Bell Skills Challenge came the JBL 3-Point Contest, where eight contestants compete shooting five 3 pointers from five different spots. Booker defeated Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson and Los Angeles Clipper Tobias Harris in the final. Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker won with a record-breaking 28 points by making 20 out of 25 3-pointers.

Saturday closed with the dunk contest where Utah Jazz rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell won with an impressive performance. Mitchell outdueled Cleveland Cavalier Larry Nance, Jr., in the final as well as two other contestants in the first round. Mitchell paid homage to stellar dunker and Sacramento Kings Vince Carter with a throwback dunk similar to Carter’s 360 degree dunk in the 2000 dunk contest.

The main event was a competitive contest in which Lebron James led his team to victory, scoring 29 points and taking the MVP award. The intensity of the All-Star game was considerably higher due to the $100,000 cash prize to each player on the winning team. The first quarter saw Team Steph jump out to a commanding lead, increasing to as much as 13 points in the beginning of the second quarter, but Team Lebron closed out with three consecutive 3s and ended up lowering the lead to two points as they entered the second half.

Entering the third quarter, Team Steph again started strong and was backed by solid play from Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, extending the lead back into double digits. Once more, however, Lebron’s team closed the lead and entered the fourth quarter down three points. In a very back-and-forth affair, with almost one minute left, a crucial defensive stop allowed James to make a clutch layup to decisively take the lead. After this, a good steal led to Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook sinking a wide-open layup, extending the lead to three points.

With one final chance of desperation, Derozan took a 3-pointer; however, tough defense from Lebron and Golden State Warrior star Kevin Durant allowed Team Lebron to clutch the victory. Upon winning the game, Lebron won his third All-Star Game MVP, tying him with legendary players Oscar Robertson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Michael Jordan for the third most wins of this honor.