The final score proved a 178-164 win for Team LeBron in the NBA All-Star Game, but the real victor was the league itself — basking in the excitement of a draft format that allows its superstars to play general manager.
“The fourth quarter was back-and-forth the entire way, with both teams playing hard and one-upping each other on every possession,” writes Sports Illustrated‘s Andrew Sharp. “For the second year in a row the game was fun, close, and entertaining down the stretch.
“I don’t want to jinx anything, but for at least two years, the NBA has found a way to make this game work.”
Kevin Durant was named All-Star MVP on a night in which he notched 31 points and seven rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting for Team LeBron.
But the younger squad put together by rival captain Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 38 points on 17-of-23 shooting, made the game a back-and-forth scoring duel. His squad added a jolt of energy that gave the game a playoff atmosphere.