The East’s beast, LeBron James, may have racked up a triple-double during the 2011 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles Sunday evening (February 20), but it wasn’t strong enough for the West and Kobe Bryant, who led his conference to a 148-143 win over their Eastern counterparts.
Bryant, at 32 years age, proved he’s still one of — if not — the best in the league, despite a pool of young talent who shined throughout the weekend.
“I feel like we have a sense of responsibility and we are voted in for what we do during the season, which is play hard, and we come here, that’s what the fans want to see,” Bryant said of his performance. “They want to see us go at it and see us compete and that’s what I try to do and that’s what I try to tell my teammates to do.”
The Lakers stars scored 37 points and 14 rebounds, recording his first ever All-Star double-double — and also earned his fourth All-Star MVP honor, tying Bob Pettit’s NBA record.
To date, Bryant has racked up 244 career points in his 12 All-Star appearances. Only Michael Jordan (262) and Kareem-Abdul Jabbar (251) have scored more. Bryant now also 33 steals, second in All-Star history to Jordan’s 37.
There was definitely no defense being played though, but who cares? Offense is what people wanna see.
The West held a double-digit lead for much of the game, with Bryant, Lakers teammate Pau Gasol (17 points, 7 rebounds), and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (34 points) leading the way.
The Miami Heat’s LeBron James did all he could to help the East, recording 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, Jordan as the only players with an All-Star Game triple-double. The Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire chipped in with 29, while Miami’s Dwyane Wade scored 14 before leaving with an ankle injury. Miami teammate Chris Bosh also did his part with 14 off the bench.
The East did make it close in the third quarter, but Bryant turned it on, dunking on a chasing James who was going for the block, then nailed a 3-pointer to make it 90-79.
Carmelo Anthony, who has been the talk of trade speculation over the past month leading up to L.A.’s All-Star Weekend, put in just 8 points.
The Clippers’ Blake Griffin, who was Saturday’s (January 19) star when he took the 2011 Slam Dunk Champ title, had a quiet night during his first All-Star appearance, also scoring just eight points. But, in the final minute of the first quarter, the rookie caught an alley-oop pass from Deron Williams for a power dunk that shook the building. Although it was Kobe’s night, Blake is definitely L.A.’s newest star.
The West’s win was only right, given the city they were playing in. Definitely a nice cap to a great NBA All-Star Weekend. source: Ballerstatus