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NBA: “Team LeBron James” outclasses “Team Kevin Durant” at the All-Star Game

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LeBron ’ team largely won the All-Star Game against that of Kevin Durant (170-150), Sunday in Atlanta. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the title of best player.

The “Team LeBron James” won the All-Star Game, 70th of the name, at the expense of the “Team Kevin Durant” (170-150), Sunday in Atlanta, Giannis Antetokounmpo being named MVP of the meeting after returning a copy perfect 35 points at 16/16 on shots.

Unlike last year when another “Team LeBron” had the last word to “Team Giannis”, after an opposition to suspense and increasing intensity, this time there was no photo . The teammates of “Captain James” won the first three quarters (40-39, 60-41, 46-45), for which there was a stake, since the team that won in each of these periods won $ 200,000 to donate to the charity of their choice ($ 100,000 for the losing team).

At 146-125, the last quarter consisted of reaching 170 points, with no time limit. Indeed, in accordance with the regulations put in place during the previous edition, 24 points (in tribute to the jersey number of Kobe Bryant, tragically disappeared in January 2020) are added to the total of the leading team, in order to determine the score to achieve to win.

What “Team LeBron”, which therefore had only 24 points to register, managed without difficulty against an opponent required to score 45 to hope to reach this victorious bar first. Antetokounmpo was his untenable offensive leader, certainly taking advantage of the lack of defense in the racket where he chained the dunks. But not only since he also entered three three-pointers in as many attempts.

And what about (28 pts) and Damian Lillard (32 pts), who would just as well have deserved to lift the Kobe Bryant MVP trophy, by illuminating the meeting with their banderillas at very long distances. They each put 8 (out of 16) and twice while shooting from the center line.

Curry wins the three-point contest …

Stephen Curry (Warriors) had also assumed his status as the best long-distance shooter in the NBA by winning the three-point shooting competition in the All-Star Game. Curry, already winner of this event in 2015, beat Mike Conley (Utah) in extremis by entering his last shoot, counting for two points, almost to the buzzer. Jayson Tatum (Boston) finished 3rd.

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The Golden State star, second highest scorer in history behind the arc (2,664) after Ray Allen (2,973) and who leads the ranking of the current season in number of registered baskets (169), had flown over the first round of the competition a few minutes earlier with an impressive total of 31 points.

… Anfernee Simons, the dunk contest

The dunk contest, another expected moment of the evening, at the half-time of the all-star match between “Team LeBron James” and “Team Kevin Durant”, saw Anfernee Simons, rookie of the Trail Blazers, prevail at the costs of Obi Toppin (New York) on a decision of three judges against two, including that of one of the great masters of the exercise, Dominique Wilkins, winner in 1985 and 1990.

His relaxation on springs and his very airy style prevailed against the power of his rival in the evening, who was first distinguished by a two-handed rear dunk, after recovering a ball bounced between his legs, before succeeding. a “windmill” above two players including his Knicks teammate Julius Randle (2.03m) on which he leaned lightly.

Simons was slightly more inventive. He first dunked, after recovering the ball placed on a support at the level of the upper line of the rectangle drawn on plexiglass. Or 3.50 m high for the player measuring 1.93 m. And after paying homage to one of his idols, Tracy McGrady, by replicating the 360-degree dunk achieved by his older brother in 2000 (but not synonymous with victory), he ended up slamming the ball into the circle trying, but failing. very little, to kiss the hoop. Bet lost, but without consequence, the judges saluting his audacity at the end of a competition that was finally quite dull, very, very far from the great hours passed.

The “skill challenge” for Sabonis

Two hours earlier, finally, the strong Lithuanian winger Domantas Sabonis (Indiana) had won the “skill challenge”, a test of skill, consisting of making dribbles between blocks, then sending a pass into a target, before to go dunker and end up with a three-point basket. He defeated the Serbian interior Nikola Vucevic () in the final, after having successively eliminated Julius Randle and the young star of Dallas, Luka Doncic. Coronavirus pandemic requires, the event was held in a relative closed session in Atlanta, in front of some 1,500 people invited.

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NC with AFP

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