CHARLOTTE – Forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors scored 31 points and had seven rebounds to lead the attack for Team LeBron, who defeated Team Giannis 178-164 in the 68th edition of the 2019 All-Star Game at the 19,000 capacity Spectrum Center on Sunday.
Durant, who went 10-of-15 from the field, 6-of-9 from three-point range and 5-of-5 from the free-throw-line, topped a list of 10 players with double-digit scores.
The Warriors star won his second Most Valuable Player award in an All-Star Game for his performance in the exhibition game.
“It’s cool to be out there with some of the best players to ever play the game,” Durant said during the postgame press conference. “To win the MVP in front of my family and friends was pretty sweet.”
His Warriors teammate, guard Klay Thompson, came off the bench to post the second highest score with 20 points for Team LeBron, which won its second consecutive All-Star Game after the change to a new draft format last year.
LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers star forward, ended with 19 points, the same as the Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard.
Power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo made a double-double of 38 points and 11 rebounds – seven of them defensive – to be the top-scorer for his own team, which dominated in the first half of the game.
They finished the first quarter with a 53-37 lead and went into the half-time break up by 13 points.
But Team LeBron bounced back to take a 132-131 lead with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.
The game, which became a flurry of perimeter shots without any defense whatsoever, established a new All-Star Game record of 62 combined three-pointers.
Meanwhile, forward Dirk Nowitzki, of the Dallas Mavericks, who played for Team Giannis, and guard Dwyane Wade, of the Miami Heat, who played on his former teammate and friend LeBron’s team, were presented commemorative NBA jerseys in honor of their careers.
Nowitzki, 40, who was playing his 14th All-Star Game, received the white jersey of Team Giannis with number 41 (his jersey number for Dallas) while the black jersey of Team LeBron with number 3 was handed to Wade, 37, who was playing in his 13th All-Star Game.