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NBA All-Star Game: West piles on in 196-173 win over East – Watch
- Updated: February 15, 2016
Kobe Bryant made the biggest stop of his farewell tour on Sunday as he played the last NBA All-Star Game of a remarkable career in which he established himself as arguably the best player of his generation.
Fifteen players joined Bryant in scoring double figures as the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 196-173 in the highest-scoring game in league history.
The first All-Star Game played outside the United States saw the West set records with 92 first-half points and 196 total points. The teams combined for a record 182 first-half points and 369 total points.
The West made more three-pointers (31) and attempted more long balls (80) than any All-Star team in history to win for the fifth time in the past six games.
“Sheesh, teams don’t score that for three games sometimes,” said Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson, who had nine points on 3-for-10 three-point shooting. “… I used all of my makes last night to beat Steph” Curry in the three-point contest.
Bryant finished his All-Star career with 290 points — one fewer than LeBron James. Bryant won four All-Star Game MVPs, tied with Bob Pettit for the most in history.
The opening tip was delayed until 8:40 p.m. EST, following an extensive tribute to Bryant’s final All-Star Game appearance. He was subbed out with 1:06 remaining, getting a rousing ovation from the crowd and embrace after embrace from the players.
In a lot of ways, the game had much more to do with those moments than the leading scorers or even the game’s outcome. Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade took Bryant to dinner Saturday night, paying homage to the Lakers’ guard and sharing stories from their competitions.
“I thought he was going to be a little more aggressive and go out shooting and shooting and shooting, but he was just enjoying the moment. It’s great to see one of our game’s greats get the respect he deserves from everyone,” Wade said. “… At one point in our lives, we all wanted to be Kobe playing in our driveways.”
Bryant scored only 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting, to go with seven assists and six rebounds.
Russell Westbrook won MVP honors with 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Anthony Davis had 24 points and six rebounds, James Harden and Kevin Durant added 23 points apiece, and Curry provided some of the game’s top highlights.
He dunked twice and then finished the game by sinking a buzzer-beating shot from near halfcourt to close out his 26-point, six-assist, five-rebound night.
“There was a little imaginary tug of war for that ball and the decision whether to shoot or not,” Curry said. “I think KD wanted it at one point, and then the crowd got into it and wanted me to shoot. Coach (Gregg) Popovich wanted us to shoot or one of us to shoot, and thankfully, it went in and kind of finished the game off with a bang and caused some excitement.”
The East was led by Paul George, who had 41 points on 9-for-19 three-point shooting. John Wall had 22 points, DeMar DeRozan went for 18, Andre Drummond pitched in 16, Kyle Lowry had 14, and James and Anthony each had 13.
“I think where the game ended up, it ended up in a beautiful place,” Bryant said.
Sportact Editors and Wire Services