CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Team LeBron rallied back from a double-digit deficit and defeated Team Giannis 178-164 as the NBA’s best and most famous stars played in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte at the Spectrum Center Sunday night.
In the 68th annual NBA All-Star Game, the two teams competed in a game featuring 24 of the NBA’s best players from the Eastern and Western Conferences, along with two special additions.
All-Star MVP Kevin Durant had 31 points, LeBron James finished with 19 points and Klay Thompson had 20 points for Team LeBron.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 38 points and 11 rebounds, Paul George had 20 points and Khris Middleton had 20 points for Team Giannis.
Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker was selected as an All-Star for the first time in his career, as he teamed up with Charlotte native and two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry on Team Giannis.
Walker finished with 4 points and a game-high 8 assists while Curry had 17 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
After the game, Walker spoke on how much it meant to him being a starter in the game.
“It meant a lot, man. Being a starter for my first time in Charlotte, what more can I ask for? I thought we put on a great show tonight as a whole. I thought the fans enjoyed it. It was a really exciting time. This whole weekend was just phenomenal. Definitely appreciate the city of Charlotte for all the love and support they’ve showed,” Walker said.
Joining Walker and Curry on Team Giannis were team captain Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Paul George, Khris Middleton, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, D’Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic, Kyle Lowry and special addition Dirk Nowitzki.
Former Duke star Kyrie Irving returns to North Carolina as a part of Team Lebron.
Joining Irving on Team LeBron were team captain LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, LaMarcus Aldridge, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal and special addition Dwyane Wade.
Team Giannis led after the first quarter, 53-37 as Bucks teammates Middleton and Antetokounmpo combined for 28 points. Dirk Nowitzki came in the game and hit a few early threes, showing he’s still got the shooting touch after almost 20 seasons in the NBA.
The 2nd quarter is where the highlight plays came in. A bounce pass alley-oop from Curry to Antetokounmpo and a 360 dunk from Paul George. Team Giannis led at halftime 95-82.
At the half, Antetokounmpo led both teams in scoring with 20 points. Kevin Durant led Team LeBron with 13 points.
In the third quarter, a moment that is sure to be a memorable All-Star highlight, long-time friends and former teammates Dwyane Wade and LeBron James connected on an alley-oop slam.
Team LeBron trailed by 18 points at one time in the game but rallied back thanks to a bunch of three point shooting, especially from All-Star MVP Kevin Durant who had six threes.
While Team LeBron came back and locked up the victory, at the end of the game, Steph showed off some dunking skills many fans might not have known he had.
For 13-time All-Star Wade and 14-time All-Star Nowitzki, 2019′s game could be their last as their careers are nearing an end.
The game tipped off Sunday night at 8 p.m. and was televised on TNT.
A pair of Charlotte charities got great benefits from the game. Right Moves for Youth will get $350,000 and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina will get $150,000 from the NBA.