Paul, Durant power West to victory in NBA All-Star game
HOUSTON — Kevin Durant scored 30 points, MVP Chris Paul had 20 points and 15 assists, and the Western Conference beat the East, 143-138, on Sunday night in the NBA All-Star game.
Blake Griffin finished with 19 points and Kobe Bryant blocked LeBron James twice in the final minutes.
James scored 19 points but shot only 7 of 18 after having no shooting troubles during the latter part of the season’s first half. Carmelo Anthony led the East with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
The first dunk of the game came 16 seconds in, Paul throwing a pass to Clippers teammate Griffin as part of the West’s 7-0 start.
The West led after each of the first three quarters, though was never ahead by more than eight points through three periods.
They finally pushed it into double figures early in the fourth fueled by former Oklahoma City teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden, but couldn’t put it away until a late run behind the guys from the city of Los Angeles — who along with Lakers center Dwight Howard gave Los Angeles all but one of the West’s starting spots.
Toronto rookie Terrence Ross beat defending champion Jeremy Evans to win the slam-dunk contest during All-Star Saturday night.
The 6-6 Ross jumped over a ball boy, whipped the ball between his legs and threw down a one-handed slam to clinch the victory. Kenneth Faried, James White, 2007 champion Gerald Green and Eric Bledsoe also were in the field.
Earlier, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving beat San Antonio’s Matt Bonner to win the 3-point contest. Irving hit 20 of 25 overall in the final round to finish with 23 points, two shy of the record held by Craig Hodges and Jason Kapono. Bonner had 20 points in the final round.
Portland rookie Damian Lillard beat Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday to win the Skills Competition.
In the first competition of the night, the trio of Miami’s Chris Bosh, WNBA star Swin Cash and Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins won the Shooting Stars competition.