Points records fall as East rallies to drop West
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving got going late, and he got going good.
Irving scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead a furious comeback by the East, and it defeated the West 163-155 in which All-Star records for points were set Sunday at Smoothie King Center.
The 318 points by both teams shattered the mark of 303 set in 1987, and the East’s 163 eclipsed the record of of 155 set in 2003, which was tied Sunday by the West.
New Orleans Pelicans second-year power forward Anthony Davis, playing in his first All-Star Game, scored 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Irving finished with 31 points and 14 assists. His 24 second-half points tied a record as he helped rally the East after it trailed by as many as 18 points in the third quarter. He also had four assists in the fourth quarter.
“I was just going out there trying to compete with these great athletes,” said Irving, who was playing in his second All-Star Game and made his first start. “We played defense (at the end), and we just stuck to the game plan we had from the start.”
The West led 152-148 with 3:14 remaining in the game only to see the East close on a 15-3 run.
Carmelo Anthony made two free throws with 1:31 left then hit a 3-pointer at 1:03, giving the East a 159-155 lead. It was his eighth 3-pointer of the game, an All-Star record.
With 2:41 left in the game, the East had come to 152-150 after a drive by Irving. He then sank a 3-pointer after a West turnover, putting the East ahead 153-152 with 2:17 left.
Kevin Durant sank a 3-pointer 18 seconds later, but those were the last points the West scored.
After trailing much of the game, the East finally caught up and tied the score at 140 on a 3-pointer by Anthony at 6:44 of the fourth quarter, then went ahead seconds later when Joakim Noah dunked on the fast break after getting a pass from LeBron James.
Durant answered with a 3-pointer, and Blake Griffin dunked on the break after a miss by Anthony, and the West led 145-142 with 5:44 left.
Davis had a steal that led to a 3-pointer by Damian Lillard with 21.4 seconds left in the third quarter that helped preserve the lead for the West, which ended the quarter ahead 126-123.
Leading by 13 entering the third quarter, the West threatened to increase it, only to have the East come back each time. When Kevin Love hit a 3-pointer, and Griffin dunked on consecutive trips, the West led 113-95 with 6:45 showing.
It was 123-105 at 4:38 after 3-pointer by Love, the Indiana Pacers’ Roy Hibbert and Paul George started the comeback with a baseline jumper and a 3-pointer respectfully. Then Hibbert hit another jumper and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson followed with a 3-pointer, as the East closed to 123-119 on a 14-0 run.
The West led 89-86 at halftime. It was the most points in a half by one team by a point, and the most by two teams combined.
Davis entered the second quarter at the 7:30 mark and immediately hit a jump shot, giving the West a 58-56 lead. The West took off from there.
From 6:40 to 5:12, Davis dunked lobs from Chris Paul and James Harden on four fastbreaks, including a reverse one from Harden at 5:12 that pushed the lead to 67-58. When Love scored on the break 13 seconds later, the East called timeout.
The West led 75-62 after a 3-pointer by Damian Lillard at 3:37, 84-71 on a 3-pointer by Stephen Curry with 1:29 showing and one by Durant with 27 seconds remaining that made it 89-76, which is the way the half ended.
Davis scored eight points on 4-of-4 shooting.
In the first quarter, the teams combined for 86 points, as the lob-and-slam show began in earnest. More than a few were of the windmill variety, including midair switches to the left hand, and some reverses.
James got the East started by stealing a pass and dunking 16 seconds into the game. He followed that with a dunk on the break, and the East raced to an 11-2 lead by the 9:58 mark, with Anthony hitting a 3-pointer in the run.
Paul entered at the seven-minute mark, replacing Harden, with the West trailing 21-15. The West immediately became more revved up, as Paul got five assists. Griffin got dunks on four of five possessions from the 5:34 mark to 4:41, cutting the margin in half at 30-27.
The West finally caught the East at 40-40 with 1:28 left after consecutive baskets by Durant. Howard scored low, giving the West its first lead 30 seconds later. The first quarter ended with the West leading 44-42.