Rapid Reaction: NBA All-Star Game
February, 26, 2012
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
RECAP: After the West scored 88 points in the first half (the most by an All-Star team) and held a 19-point lead, the East stormed back with hot 3-point shooting from the Nets' Deron Williams (20 points) and LeBron James (tied for a game-high 36 points). With about 1:30 remaining in the game, D-Will had a steal and then a layup to bring the East the closest they had been since the first quarter, 148-147, but the West held on to win 152-149.
The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, a first-time East member, scored 19 points, and his teammate, Dwyane Wade, had a triple-double (24 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds). The West was led by game MVP Kevin Durant (36 points) and Kobe Bryant (27), who surpassed Michael Jordan to become the all-time All-Star scoring leader.
LOCAL HIGHLIGHTS: Anthony wasn't the usual mid-range jump shooter and attacker from the perimeter. Instead, he was a threat down low, scoring all 19 of his points in the paint on mostly layups and free throws. He also collected four offensive rebounds -- second to Dwight Howard and Russell Westbrook's five -- and nine overall.
Although Williams only played 18 minutes -- and didn't even see the court in the first or third quarter -- he took advantage of the limited time. He showed off the shooting touch he displayed at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 20, when he lit up the Knicks for 38 points on 8-for-14 3-pointers in the Nets' 100-92 win. Tonight, D-Will scored 20 points off the bench on 4-for-7 from downtown.
JUST FOR KICKS: Anthony and Williams wore special All-Star colorways of their regular-season sneakers. Melo: His Jordan Brand Melo M8s didn't really have a particular theme, but simply matched the blue and white East uniforms. They featured a white patent that took up most of the upper and a navy elephant print along the collar.
D-Will: His Galaxy Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011 Lows took on Nike's All-Star Weekend "Galaxy" theme, inspired by the space travel that the Orlando region is known for with Cape Canaveral nearby. They featured a splatter graphic along the midsole to represent space and stars, and a colorful nebula graphic printed on both the liner and laces. The outsole actually glowed in the dark. The "Galaxy" theme was led by All-Star sneakers worn by Bryant, James and Durant. In fact, all of Nike Basketball's All-Stars were wearing various models with a similar theme.
CELEBRITY ROW: NBA legends Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins, Darryl Dawkins and George Gervin were spotted in attendance. In addition, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin and David Robinson were honored during a second-half timeout for the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Dream Team.
Mary J. Blige (national anthem), Nicki Minaj (pregame), Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Nayer (halftime) performed at the event.
Athletes: Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia. Entertainers: Comedians Kevin Hart, Chris Tucker and JB Smoove, and rappers Lil Wayne, Drake and Cee Lo Green. And who else but film director and Knicks fan Spike Lee. During pregame layup lines, Lee was standing courtside by his seat, next to Jesse Jackson, and calling out to every East All-Star that walked by him. He was making every one of them laugh with his gift of gab. Some were in awe of Lee rocking a special colorway of the iconic Air Jordan IIIs while in a cool suit outfit with an orange Knicks tie.
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