NEW ORLEANS – Carmelo Anthony made an All-Star record eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points, and the Eastern Conference overcame Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and the Western Conference for a 163-155 victory Sunday night.
Durant and Griffin each finished with 38 points, four shy of the NBA All-Star game record. But the East scored the final 10 points to pull out a game they trailed by 18.
Kyrie Irving had 31 points and 14 assists and was voted the game’s MVP for the East, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
It’s a great honor, Irving said. We had a few MVPs. Everyone out here today is an MVP.
LeBron James had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
The superstars of our league were just telling us to compete on every play, Irving said. Trying to play as much defense as possible. You know, sticking to our game plan. We had a game plan going in and we executed.
Griffin shot 19 of 23, while Durant finished with 10 rebounds and six assists.
This year’s weekend marked the change of an era in the NBA.
It started right at the top, with Adam Silver overseeing his first All-Star weekend as NBA commissioner since replacing David Stern, who retired Feb. 1 after 30 years.
Stern had an immediate success in 1984 with the debut of All-Star Saturday night, highlighted by the first slam dunk contest. The league installed a new, two-round format for that event that didn’t go over entirely well, so expect Silver to take a look at it before bringing next year’s All-Star weekend home to New York.
The jerseys in Sunday’s game had sleeves for the first time, but it’s the guys wearing them that made things feel so new.
We’re in the middle of a new age right now and I guess we’re the old heads nowadays, said Miami’s Chris Bosh, who first appeared in an All-Star game in 2006.
I guess we’ve taken their place now, so it’s always going to be in with the new and out with the old, and I guess we’re next.
That 2006 game in Houston was the first time LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Bosh played together as teammates, three years after coming into the league together and still four more before they joined up in Miami.
They were touted as the future of the league back then. Now, they are watching it arrive.
You see the younger guys coming up and they are the future of the NBA and one day, they’ll be doing the same thing we’re doing, Wade said. They’ll be looking back like, How fast did it go?’