The 2019 NBA All-Star Game provided no shortage of theatrics from Spectrum Center in Charlotte. The game’s best players fired off three-pointers and alley oops to their hearts’ desires in a game that offered little defense but a whole lot else to have fun with. In the end, Team LeBron took home the win over Team Giannis, 178-164.
Giannis Antetokounmpo put on an absolute show despite the loss for the team bearing his name. The Bucks forward pulled off countless highlight reel dunks en route to finishing with a game-high 38 points on 17-of-23 shooting. He also added 10 rebounds and four assists as part of a thrilling effort from the league MVP candidate.
Kevin Durant (31 points), Paul George (20 points) and LeBron James (19 points, eight rebounds) were among the others to play well Sunday night. Durant and Damian Lillard (18 points) helped key the second-half run that turned a double-digit deficit for Team LeBron into a thrilling victory.
Here’s a look back at the best moments from another fun NBA All-Star Game.
Dirk gets hot from deep
What a way for Dirk Nowitzki to go out in his final All-Star Game. The Mavericks forward hit three straight three-pointers in the first half as Team Giannis pulled out to a double-digit lead, getting the crowd to go wild in the process. Nowitzki may not be close to the player he was in his prime, but that jump shot remains oh-so-sweet even after all these years.
We got Dirk mic’d up, too.
Steph and Giannis’ bounce pass alley oop
There’s only one time you can try this as an NBA player, and it’s in the All-Star Game. Thank goodness Curry and Antetokounmpo went for it because this is what it should be all about.
Damian Lillard, Team LeBron make it interesting
For a good chunk of this game, the excitement didn’t come from the scoreboard. Team Giannis led by double digits from midway through the first quarter until Damian Lillard got hot to tie up the game late in the third quarter. The 24-6 run by Team LeBron, which turned a 118-100 deficit into a 124-124 tie, got players so riled up they were walking onto the court while celebrating. A fun time was had by all, and just as importantly, it set the stage for a fourth quarter with some real stakes (in an admittedly meaningless games).
And then, after a three on the other end, came a heat check by Lillard to match, for good measure:
The many, many sweet dunks
Team LeBron takes over for the win
It turns out that run late in the third quarter was a sign of things to come. Team LeBron ended up going off on a 78-46 run over the final 15-plus minutes of the game to pull away with the victory. What initially seemed like it might be a surprisingly easy win for Team Giannis turned out to be the complete opposite once guys like Durant, Lillard, James and Kawhi Leonard caught fire, which coincided with the shots not falling from Curry and others.
The game didn’t end up going down to the last second, but it was still an exciting shootout between the NBA’s best players Sunday night. Fun was had by all.