Kyrie Irving wins NBA All-Star MVP honors as the East tops the West 163-155 (TNT Notes added)

(Vancouver Sun)

Kyrie Irving was the most Most Valuable Player on a record-setting day.

So much for the Eastern Conference being a bunch of push-overs.

Kyrie Irving grabbed MVP honors, Carmelo Anthony knocked down a record eight three-pointers and LeBron James put on a majestic dunking exhibition as the East rallied from 18 points down to stun the West 163 -155 in the highest scoring NBA All-Star Game ever.

Blake Griffin and LeBron James put on a first quarter aerial display that would rival any of the more recent slam dunk competitions. Griffin scored 18 points in the first quarter, primarily on vicious throw downs. James did not disappoint as he captivated the crowd with a series of forceful windmill dunks.

Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points, shooting 8-13 from three-point range. His eighth, being the East’s final points on a 10-0 run to close out the game. James finished with 22 points and Paul George added 18.

Kyrie Irving has taken his share of criticism this season from those who feel he isn’t one of the NBA’s best players — let alone one its best floor generals. Irving meshed his game perfectly with the East All-Stars, including (gulp) LeBron James. Irving finished with 31 points and 14 assists and 5 rebounds to take home MVP honors.

Kevin Durant continued his hot shooting, leading the West with 38 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Blake Griffin also added 38 on 19-23 shooting. Chris Paul and Steph Curry added 13 and 11 assists, respectively.

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis scored 10 points and Kevin Love added 13 points and 9 boards.

 

East All Stars West All Stars
Pts Irving 31 2 tied 38
Reb James 7 Howard 11
Ast Irving 14 Paul 13

 

TNT’s NBA regular season coverage continues Thursday, February 20, at 8 p.m. ET with doubleheader action featuring the Miami Heat @ Oklahoma City Thunder followed by the Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m.

 

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com – Live from New Orleans

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith

Barkley reflects on his interview with President Obama: “I just realized I had done one of the coolest things I had ever done before in my life. Growing up in the projects of Leeds, Alabama, you never think you’re going to be sitting there and asking [the President] questions and go to the Oval Office…I feel like anytime I accomplish anything in life, I represent Leeds, Auburn [University] and the entire state of Alabama. It was really cool for me to have people from Leeds, Alabama, excited for me to be in the Oval Office.”

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Eastern Conference (163) vs. Western Conference (155)

Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller (analysts) with David Aldridge, Grant Hill, Craig Sager and Chris Webber (reporters)

 

Miller on Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George: “He’s the second best two-way player in the game behind LeBron James.”

 

Kerr on Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant: “He’s had a spectacular season. He has an incredible combination of size, skill and athleticism. He has been the MVP of the league so far to this point [in the season].”

 

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant joined the TNT game crew courtside during the second quarter

 

Bryant on the current players he most enjoys watching: “It’s tough to pick [one player]. I’ve been watching K.D. [Kevin Durant] for a while. James Harden I’ve been watching [him] for a while. The other fella’ who isn’t here because of injury is Russell Westbrook. I love watching him go. It’s tough to pick. Damian Lillard is a sensational player. There is a lot of young talent in the league.”

 

Bryant on selecting four players for his Mount Rushmore of the NBA: “It’s such a tough thing to try to determine who the top four players are to belong on Mount Rushmore. It’s a bit of a ridiculous argument. It’s impossible [to pick].”

 

Bryant on whether he has a rivalry with LeBron James: “I wouldn’t call it a rivalry. It’s a competition. When we’re out there playing, [LeBron] is one of the best players and I pride myself on being a great defensive player…I think it’s a healthy competition.”

 

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Sprint Halftime Report

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal, Smith

 

Barkley on Blake Griffin and LeBron James: “Can you imagine if Blake [Griffin] and LeBron [James] got in the dunk contest? I would pay to see that.”

 

Smith on New Orleans’ Anthony Davis: “In two years, Anthony Davis will be the best power forward in basketball.”

 

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Miller on expecting a first round upset in the Western Conference Playoffs: “I’m predicting that out of the top four [teams in the playoffs], there will be upset in the first round. The West is that good with their bottom four.”

 

Miller on Minnesota’s Kevin Love: “He’s probably the best rebounder and outlet passer in our game.”

 

Kerr on imagining LeBron James and Joakim Noah as teammates: “It’s kind of scary to imagine [Noah and James] playing together as teammates with their talents and the way they approach the game.”

 

Kerr on Noah: “Noah is the best in the game as a big at setting the screen, rolling and then making a play – either finishing or making a pass. He gives the Bulls’ offense so much versatility with those skills.”

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