Steph Curry dazzles as Team LeBron wins NBA All-Star Game | Inquirer Sports

Steph Curry dazzles as Team LeBron wins NBA All-Star Game

/ 12:28 PM February 21, 2022
Steph Curry LeBron James NBA All-Star Game

Stephen Curry #30 and LeBron James #6 of Team LeBron celebrate after defeating Team Durant 163-160 during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

A fire marshal conducting a heat check might not have prevented Stephen Curry from an unprecedented performance in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

Curry used his sizzling stroke to score 50 points, set an All-Star Game record with 16 3-point baskets and earn MVP honors while helping Team LeBron record a 163-160 victory over Team Durant in Cleveland.

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“I got hot early and kept scoring,” Curry said. “Then I tried to put on a little bit of a show.”

Terming it a momentous show would be more accurate.

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Curry, playing for Team LeBron, shattered the former All-Star record of nine 3-pointers, set by Paul George in 2016.

The Golden State Warriors’ star fell two points shy of the scoring record set by Anthony Davis in 2017 with his dazzling performance.

“It’s fun,” Curry said of his shooting heroics. “It’s great because when I get going, the energy picks up and I think the game turned in the right direction after that.”

The All-Star MVP honor is the first for Curry, an eight-time All-Star. His previous best scoring output was 28.

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“It was definitely was something I wanted to experience,” Curry said of adding another milestone to his resume. “Once I knew I was feeling it, I wanted to ride that wave and see how it ended up.”

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers hit the game-ending shot to reach the target score and give Team LeBron the victory.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks had 30 points and 12 rebounds for Team LeBron but was just fine with being a secondary cog after winning MVP honors last season.

“When you see a guy like Steph knocking down shots like that, you don’t want to lose the game,” Antetokounmpo said. “I thought he was the guy who deserved to be MVP and I was focused on making plays to help my team win.”

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers had 36 points and 10 rebounds to lead Team Durant.

“He was making shots all over the place,” Embiid said of Curry. “My mindset was to come out and win the game.”

James scored 24 points while playing in his 18th All-Star Game, one shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record.

After hitting the winning basket, James slid to the side of the court to talk with legendary Michael Jordan, who was in the venue due to the NBA honoring the league’s 75th anniversary team at halftime.

“It’s crazy that the game-winning shot was a fadeaway and it was inspired by MJ,” James said. “The way he wore his shoes, the way he wore his uniform, all the way down to some of the cars that he drove, is how much he inspired me and I didn’t want to waste that opportunity because we aren’t in the same building a lot.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks had 30 points and 12 rebounds for Team LeBron. James scored 24 points while playing in his 18th All-Star Game, one shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record.

Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns added 20 points for Team Durant.

The third quarter ended with Team Durant holding a 139-138 lead. That set the target winning score at 163 with the NBA adding 24 points to the leading total after three quarters. It is the third straight year the formula has been part of the game.

Curry’s 16th 3-pointer gave Team LeBron a 144-139 lead. Embiid’s three-point play later pulled Team Durant within 151-150 and then he sank two free throws to give his team a one-point lead.

Antetokounmpo later scored back-to-back baskets, James added a layup and DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls hit a turnaround to give Team LeBron a 161-155 lead. Zach LaVine of the Bulls scored five straight points for Team Durant before James drained the 17-foot fadeaway jumper that gave his team the required 163 points.

Curry attempted 27 3-pointers and was 17 of 30 overall from the field while winning the MVP award now named after the late Kobe Bryant.

“This trophy has a very special meaning, honoring Kobe and Gigi, and everyone that was lost two years ago, so (I’m) very humbled and very blessed,” Curry said, referring to the helicopter crash that killed nine people on Jan. 26, 2020.

Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns played 2:19 for Team LeBron despite having a fractured right thumb that will sideline him for six to eight weeks. Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz missed the contest due to a non-COVID illness.

Also, injured Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant (knee) didn’t partake in the festivities due to the death of his grandmother earlier Sunday.

After participating in the 75th anniversary team ceremony at halftime, Curry went into lava-hot mode and knocked down five 3-pointers in 128 seconds, including shots from 37 and 33 feet. His second 3-pointer during the stretch — a 25-footer with 8:37 remaining in the third quarter — was his 10th to break George’s record.

Curry added two more 3-pointers later in the stanza to take a total of 15 into the final quarter.

Curry had 24 first-half points on a record eight 3-pointers for a half, but Team LeBron trailed 94-93 at the break. Embiid had 17 first-half points for Team Durant.

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