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Who are the most searched NBA players on the Internet in June?

Top five nba players searched in JuneAt this time of the offseason in the NBA, most of the top free agents have already found their new teams. We already know which will the most powerful teams in either conference will be and how the new balances across the league will be. Let’s take a look at the players who were searched the most on the Internet during the month of June.

It comes as no surprise that on the top spot we find LeBron James. June was the month in which the Miami Heat squared off against the San Antonio Spurs and eventually lost the NBA Championship. But it was also the month in which tons of speculation and rumors about LeBron’s Decision 2.0 arose. Millions of fans searched news about LeBron, trying to find a hint about his next destination. Eventually, his decision was announced in July.

Kobe Bryant lies at the second spot. Although the Black Mamba missed the biggest chunk of the 2013 – 2014 season he still had an influence in the course of the Los Angeles Lakers and their decisions for the future. Kobe was active during the Lakers’ free agency moves, which however didn’t end up with a superstar signing.

Kevin Durant came up third in the list, followed by Tim Duncan. The two of them squared off against each other during the , where Duncan and the Spurs prevailed.

It’s notable that at the fifth spot we find Michael Jordan. Of course, His Airness is no longer playing the game but as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets (formerly known as the Charlotte Bobcats), he still has a significant role in the league. Jordan always draws attention from the fans and the media and the recent changes in Charlotte together with the second playoff berth in franchise history increased the interest from the entire NBA world.


Carmelo Anthony lies on the sixth spot. Melo was the second best free agent this summer, behind LeBron. Although he tested free agency, he ended up re-signing with the New York Knicks. Of course, until mid-June, when the NBA Finals were still under way, Anthony’s name wasn’t that much searched on the Internet.

Dwyane Wade and Tony Parker occupy spots seven and eight in the most searched basketball athletes of the month of June. Again, this was widely expected, since the Heat and the Spurs made it all the way till the NBA Finals.

It’s notable that Lamar Odom entered the top 10 and ranked ninth in the list of Google’s most searched basketball players for June. Odom continues to draw much attention from fans and media across the globe. His marriage with Khloe Kardashian, his off-court issues and his bunch of unsuccessful efforts to return to NBA action are good enough reasons for the attention levels to remain high. Odom reportedly had discussions with some teams around the league about a possibility of a return to the NBA.

Kevin Love finished at No.10. In fact, the megastar forward is now drawing even more attention, as he is the next superstar who will most probably switch teams. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been exploring trade scenarios for a few months now. Now that LeBron and Melo all off the board, Love is the center of trade discussions in the NBA.

“It must be the shoes” because although Michael Jordan retired from the NBA in 2003 he still leads Lebron, Kobe, Durant and Duncan in being searches since 2004.

Chris M.

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Clippers Steal The Thunder

Clippers Vs Thunder Tickets

CP3

One of the big storylines heading into game one of the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder second round series was the two point guards, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. Westbrook, even after dealing with a knee injury for the better part of a year, is one of the most athletically gifted point guards in the NBA. Paul, the consummate veteran, had a solid opening round series against the Golden State Warriors, but has had to deal with a strained hamstring during the postseason. While many wondered how Paul would fare against an athletic Oklahoma City team, many pointed out how Paul always seems to step up big when challenged.

Boy, were they right.

LA Clippers Vs OKC Thunder

CP3

Behind one of the greatest performances of his career the Clippers traveled to Oklahoma City and blew out the Thunder in the opening game of their second round playoff series behind a virtuoso performance from Chris Paul. Paul scored 32 points in just 28 minutes of play, shooting 12 of 14 from the field and 8 of 9 from behind the three point line. He also notched ten assists while just turning the ball over two times. Paul made six three-pointers in the first half as the Clippers jumped out to a massive 17 point halftime lead on the way to a 122-105 victory.

Overall the Clippers shot 55% from the field with five total players in double figures. Blake Griffin scored 23 points to go along with 5 boards and 5 assists, while Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and JJ Redick also hit double figures. Los Angeles had 26 assists and just 8 turnovers. It was a perfect start to game one and a message to the Thunder and the rest of the NBA that the Clippers are ready for a long playoff push.

Thunder Vs Clippers Tickets

BLAKE

For Oklahoma City the story was again their lack of balance offensively. As this year’s postseason has evolved, the Thunder has become one-sided to a fault, relying solely on the combination of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Other than a couple of big performances from Reggie Jackson in the Grizzlies series, the Thunder has become the ultimate example of a two man team. After three quarters on Monday night the Clippers led the Thunder by a score of 104-78. Of the 78 Thunder point the combination of Durant and Westbrook scored 54. This deficit included a 22-7 Clippers lead in bench scoring.

Victory in hand the Clippers have a massive opportunity to send the series back to STAPLES Center with a commanding 2-0 lead. They’ll face a desperate Thunder team hoping not to fall behind in the second round like they did in the first round. The Clippers will start game two with a tremendous amount of confidence due to the sheer size of the blowout. Game two is Wednesday night at 6:30 Pacific.

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BY: Chris M.

Should the Lakers Pursue Kevin Ollie?

UCONN Kevin Ollie

Kevin Ollie

Writing in the New York Times columnist Eric Pincus wrote a compelling piece on whether the Lakers could target University of Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie as a potential replacement for Mike D’Antoni. With the Lakers mired at the bottom of the Western Conference and at least another year of rebuilding ahead of them, should the Lakers make a move for Ollie?

Mike D’Antoni is a lame duck coach. Even if he does coach the Lakers next season it’s hard to imagine D’Antoni keeping his job beyond next season. The Lakers have battled injuries all season, but have also shown the negative characteristics of previous D’Antoni coached teams, mainly the inability to play defense. With a high draft pick in the coming draft the Lakers may choose to move on a candidate like Ollie to inject some life into the franchise and maximize the Lakers upcoming draft pick. The former Connecticut star and now head coach is from Los Angeles, playing his high school basketball at Crenshaw High School. In just two seasons in Connecticut he’s capably replaced a legend in Jim Calhoun and has the Huskies playing for yet another National Title on Monday night versus the Kentucky Wildcats.

Kevin Ollie UCONN

Kevin Ollie (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Ollie is compelling not because of his coaching resume, which is impressive albeit with limited head coaching experience. What makes Ollie compelling is his reputation around the league, especially from current Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant. As Pincus pointed, out Ollie received major accolades from Durant during a recent interview with Bill Simmons. Durant called Ollie at “game-changer” for his impact on the culture of Oklahoma City during their evolution as a contender in the west. It’s a big stretch to think that the presence of Ollie would draw Durant to Los Angeles, but is indicative of Ollie’s reputation around the league. Durant pointed to the mind-set and professionalism that Ollie brought to the Thunder organization each day.

Would Ollie take the job? Considering his instant success at Connecticut it’s questionable why he would leave the college ranks, but a factor that may impact a decision by Ollie to leave could be Connecticut’s conference situation. The Huskies ended up lost in the shuffle of the conference realignments over the past two seasons and now find themselves in the American Athletic Conference, a far cry from the former Big East they were a member of for over two decades. The American Athletic is far less prestigious than the old Big East and the ACC and could impact Ollie’s decision to stay at Connecticut.

UCONN Kevin Ollie

Coach Ollie

If the Lakers were to attract Ollie it doesn’t guarantee they make a run for Durant but it would satisfy the fan base and potentially usher the Lakers into a new era. A solid draft pick in the offseason and the acquisition of Kevin Love after next season can do wonders for the Lakers near term outlook. How a franchise is perceived nationally can have a major impact on potential free agents, for an example look at the LA Clippers and their decision to replace Vinny Del Negro with Doc Rivers. The presence of Rivers immediately upped the prestige of the Clippers organization and made them a desirable target for a player like Danny Granger when he was amnestied this spring. Ollie can have a similar impact as Rivers with the Lakers. Chris M.

Blake Griffin and Joakim Noah the two top black horses for the MVP award

Clippers Blake Griffin Bulls Joakim Noah

BLAKE & JOAKIM

There is no denying that the MVP title is a two-man one this year. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will be apparently fighting chest to chest till the end of the season for the award and at the moment, things look really tight. However, it’s worth taking a look at some of the black horses of this race. Although several players have been involved into the discussion for the MVP award this season, at the moment, Blake Griffin and Joakim Noah are the two best underdogs.

Noah is the main reason the Chicago Bulls have managed not only to save the 2013-2014 season but to also emerge up to the third spot in the Eastern Conference. The Frenchman center is doing it all for his team at the moment, playing defense, scoring, dishing assists and rebounding. Although Noah has literally no chances to make it to the top of list of MVP candidates, as LeBron and KD are playing in a whole different level, he is one of the most over performing players this season.

LA Clippers Blake Griffin

BLAKE

If there is one player who deserves to be considered as a third strong candidate for the MVP award this season, that is Blake Griffin. The highflying forward has not only improved his game in almost any aspect but he has also emerged as the true leader of the Los Angeles Clippers, taking the team on his shoulders during the time Chris Paul was out with an injury.

Griffin is averaging 24 points per contest, almost three more than his career-average and he is also securing 9.6 rebounds and dishing out 3.6 assists, while shooting 53.2 percent from the floor. He just recently got hurt, during the Clips’ last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he is projected to return to action soon and be ready for the Clips’ playoff push. Despite Griffin’s improvement, he will still not be able to reach the duo of LeBron and Durant.

LeBron is recording a career-best 57.0 percent shooting from the field and he is also putting up 26.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game, which are too much for Griffin to get close. Durant is also recording similarly impressive numbers, maybe even more impressive. He is leading the NBA in scoring with 32.2 points per game and he is also putting up 7.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists. His shooting is also great but slightly lower than LeBron’s rates, 51.2 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from deep.
The MVP race will be coming to its end soon and we will see either Durant or LeBron earning the crown. However, we also have to recognize the efforts of players like Griffin and Noah. Chris M

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Should Blake Griffin be the MVP this season?

Should Blake Griffin Be MVP

Griffin For MVP

The race for the MVP title this season is a close one, a very close one. The two obvious favorites are LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Those two megastars have been recording tremendous outputs this season. However, there is one more superstar who is playing like an MVP, who has dramatically improved his production and efficiency from last season and he is a candidate for the MVP award. That’s no other than Blake Griffin.

First of all, Griffin has been playing in a great level all season long, much like the entire Los Angeles Clippers have been doing. The presence of Doc Rivers at the team’s bench meant a big change for Lob City. Discipline and more effort on defense are two new facts that were missing from the Clips’ style of play last year. Griffin also looks like a different, a more mature player right now with Doc Rivers guiding him.

Should Blake Griffin Be MVP

Griffin

This season, he is putting up numbers above his career-averages. The dominant power forward is averaging a team-best 24.4 points per contest to go along with 9.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 53.9 percent from the field. He has even hit some threes. Griffin is the main wheel for the Clippers on the offensive end. In most possessions the ball runs through him. But even when it doesn’t Griffin contributes by setting great screens or by drawing the attention from the opposing defense. Griffin has improved his mid-range shot significantly and he has also managed to shoot better from the charity stripe. Of course, he continues to be a great rebounder and shot blocker. His defense still isn’t at a world-class level, but he has seen some improvement there, too.

Up to now, Blake Griffin was arguably the most spectacular player in the league. Now, he is also one of the best ones. He is currently considered as the best power forward in the NBA and his performance every night shows why.

NBA MVP Blake Griffin

MVP?

When the Los Angeles Clippers needed him to step up and take the team on his shoulders, he responded to the call. With Chris Paul out for an extended time, Griffin really took his performance to the next level. He emerged as the true leader of the team and he managed to lead the Clips to some significant wins. It’s notable that LA didn’t drop in the Western Conference rankings despite Paul’s absence.

Of course, the competition for Blake Griffin is huge. It will be almost impossible for him to reach the monster seasons LeBron and Durant are recording. Those two have been simply playing to a whole different level. But if there is one player who could threaten them this season, that is Blake Griffin. Stephen Curry could also be in the discussion.

Griffin has been instrumental in the Clippers recent run of a nine game win streak. On Monday night, Griffin became just the third player in NBA history to tally 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists before the end of his fourth season while shooting 50.0 percent or better. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Charles Barkley, Blake Griffin and that’s it.

LA Clippers Blake Griffin deserves respect

Griffin

Why Blake won’t win MVP? One reason…the Clippers! The local community college team gets more respect then them. They play home games on what is considered the Lakers home court no matter what, Lakers Home Venue and Lakers City. Just ask any Lakers fan. Although they have been gaining respect little by little over the last four years and Clippers ticket prices have slightly increased they are always in the shadow of the Lakers and might not ever come out of it. Blake and Lob City are like the Cleveland Browns they don’t get the NBA spotlight on Sunday’s they don’t make page on of USA Today even though Blake has some of the best dunks of all time just ask Kim Kardashian’s ex husband. When you mention the Clippers to NBA fans they look at you like your insane talking about them. Would Blake winning MVP bring instant credibility to the Clippers and Clippers Nation? I don’t think so but to not be mentioned in the MVP talk for his numbers this season is showing what lack of respect Blake and the Clipper Nation actually get.

I am not saying throw your Kobe or Lakers Jerseys away or the Clippers deserve the respect that the Lakers, Celtics, Miami Heat or Spurs deserve or even Tim Duncan or Dirk Nowitzki but Blake is only in his fourth year and has helped turned the once a joke Clippers into a legit NBA Championship contender and is mentioned in the same breath as one of the greatest to ever play the game in only four years he deserves a second look for MVP this season. Chris Michaels

Lakers Face Durant and Howard This Week

Lakers Tickets Courtside

Lakers Bulls

With Steve Nash and Steve Blake in the fold things might be looking up, at least a little bit, for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nash and Blake returned to the Lakers lineup on Tuesday night in Minnesota, with Nash making his season debut. The depleted Lakers ended up losing Tuesday night at the hands of the Timberwolves, but then went on to win two in a row on the road before losing at home Sunday versus the Chicago Bulls.

Week Recap: Even with the return of Nash and Blake the Lakers continue to be the most snake bit team in the NBA when it comes to losing players. The return of their two point guards coincided with the loss of Nick Young and Jodie Meeks to injury. Wednesday’s night win in Cleveland saw Robert Sacre of the Lakers stay in the game after fouling out, a rarely seen NBA rule, due to the fact the Lakers had just five players left. After already losing Nick Young to injury and Jordan Farmar to leg cramps the Lakers were down to five players after Chris Kaman fouled out. Even with a depleted roster the Lakers hit a season-high 18 three-point shots to defeat the Cavaliers and former Head Coach Mike Brown. Los Angeles continued their winning ways Friday night with a fourteen point defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers behind 19 points from Steve Nash on his 40th birthday. Steve Blake contributed 14 points and 8 assists in the victory. Even without Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol the return of Nash and Blake is a welcome sight for Lakers fans. The Lakers returned home Sunday to face a competitive Chicago Bulls team, losing a tough one, 92-86. Chicago ran out to a nineteen point lead and the Lakers rallied back but couldn’t close the gap in the end, losing despite a season-high 27 points from Chris Kaman. Unfortunately for the Lakers they may have lost Steve Nash again for a short period of time. Nash knocked knees with Kirk Hinrich in the third quarter, causing his knee to flare up once again. He’ll be evaluated and may miss a couple of games.

Lakers Tickets Staples Center

Staples Center

The Week Ahead: The Lakers have a big home stretch coming up with five games at STAPLES Center over the next two weeks, including two with key Western Conference contenders. Los Angeles kicks off the week Tuesday night when they host the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are coming off of an impressive home victory over the Miami Heat. Thursday night Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder make a visit to STAPLES Center, giving Lakers fans a chance to see the NBA’s leading MVP candidate in action. Following the All Star Break the Lakers return home next week when they face off versus the Houston Rockets in a game that many Lakers fans have had circled on the calendar since last summer. Wednesday will mark the return of former Lakers center Dwight Howard to STAPLES Center. The gifted big man, who had an up and down season in LA last year, has teamed with James Harden to put the Rockets in the fourth playoff position in the west. Lakers Vs Rockets tickets start at just $48 per ticket. The Lakers wrap up the following week by hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday and the New Jersey Nets on Sunday. With five games including four playoff contenders it will be a big ten days of basketball for Lakers fans. Chris Michaels.

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Kobe and Blake both 2014 NBA All Star Game Starters

Kobe Bryant Blake Giffin

Kobe and Blake

Kobe Bryant played just six games in the 2013-2014 season and his performance reminded little of the dominant superstar we all know the Black Mamba is. Nonetheless, this didn’t stop NBA fans from voting him as a starter for the 2014 All-Star game.

This will be Kobe’s 16th appearance in an All-Star game. Of course, it’s still uncertain if Kobe will be able to play. The 35-year old megastar is still rehabbing from his knee injury and the latest word from the Los Angeles Lakers states that he will be re-evaluated over the next few days.

Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors earned his spot in the All-Star game this season. In fact, there was much criticism around the league because of his non-selection last year. The 25-year old sharpshooter has been recording a terrific season up to now, showing us more of the same lethal scoring abilities, especially from long range. Actually, Curry is averaging career-highs in points per game, with 23.5 and assists with 9.2. This will be his first All-Star appearance.

Blake Griffin LA Clippers

Griffin

Blake Griffin will make his fourth straight All-Star appearance and this time he will be a starter. Griffin has really taken the Los Angeles Clippers on his shoulders this season due to the shoulder injury of Chris Paul. Griffin has been playing fantastically as of lately. He is averaging 22.6 points and 10 rebounds per game this season for the Clips, while his also shooting 52.4 percent from the floor.

Kevin Durant will of course be a starter for the Western All-Stars. His performance has skyrocketed this season, especially since Russell Westbrook went down with an injury. Durant is leading the league in scoring with 31 points per game. His buddy, Russell Westbrook will not participate in the All-Star game.

Kevin Love will complete the starting lineup for the Western All-Stars. This will be the first time Love will be starting in an All-Star game. He is the league-leader in double-doubles and he managed to steal the starting position from Dwight Howard. The fact that Dwight Howard will not start in this All-Star game was a big surprise.

The Eastern All-Stars will have a weird starting lineup, as none of the frontcourt players normally plays a position above the small forward. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will both start for the Eastern All-Stars. LeBron’s selection comes as no surprise. He still is the best player in the world. Wade on the other hand is experiencing some injury issues as of lately but he should be ready to go for the All-Star game.

Paul George will also be a starter and that was widely expected around the NBA. George is continuing to improve his performance and he is putting up superstar-like performances.

Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving complete the starting five for the Eastern All-Stars. This will be Irving’s second straight All-Star appearance and his first start. Melo will start for the sixth time in an All-Star Game. By:

You can watch Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin square off on March 6th at the Staples Center when the Lakers take on the Clippers in the next round of Battle of LA. Chris Michaels

Chris Paul Bobblehead night at Clippers Vs Thunder Staples Center Jan 22nd

Chris Paul Clippers Bobblehead

Chris Paul Clippers Bobblehead

Only the first 18,000 People receive the Chris Paul Bobblehead at the Clippers Vs Thunder on Jan 22nd at the Staples Center! SO DON’T BE LATE!

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A huge game is coming ahead for the LA Clippers next Tuesday, on January the 22nd . They host the Western Conference leading team (record-wise), the Oklahoma City Thunder. It will be playoff-type game. In fact, these teams are the two favorites as the finalists on the Western Conference, so it will be no surprise to see Chis Paul, Blake Griffin and their company fight against Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook for a chance to compete for ring.

It will be the second meeting between these two teams. Last time, the Thunder managed to escape with a close win at overtime, 117-111, but can they repeat? Also, the biggest question most people might have is which team can actually dethrone the Miami Heat and win the championship this season. The Clips and the Thunder are the two best teams in the West and also have the two best records in the entire league respectively.

Chris Paul has really lifted up his game during the last weeks and he is getting the help he needs from almost every teammate. He has missed three consecutive games due to a bruised right kneecap, but he will be ready for this derby, even sooner. Griffin and Crawford have proven to be the main supporters for Paul, but in general, Coach Vinnie Del Negro has just too many weapons he can use with effectiveness. Can the Thunder last and prove that they have matured enough to win a championship, after last year’s demolition in the finals by the Heat?
Well, this game will answer a lot of such questions regarding the top teams in the West and will show which one is more ready and complete. Apart from the ranking boost the winner may get, the momentum gained will most probably be the number one factor coming into this game. Both teams need this win. It is predicted to be a spectacular game with lots of tension and some great performances, with so much star power on court.

Staples Center will be rocking for this one of the Clippers biggest home games of the season.

By
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1992 Dream Team set the gold standard both literally and figuratively

USA Dream Team 1992 Vs 2012

USA Dream Team 1992 Vs 2012

The fundamental 1992 Dream Team set the gold standard-both literally and figuratively-for Summer Games basketball. Kobe stated the 2012 Dream Team could beat Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and the rest of the 1992 group. Is he right?

Miami Heat LeBron James, LA Laker Kobe Bryant and Thunder Kevin Durant head line the latest edition of the “Dream Team,” one that will defend Team USA’s World and Olympic championships in basketball at the Olympic Games in London.

Much has been made about the current team’s weak frontcourt. The 1992 team had 4 players who grabbed at least 15 percent of available rebounds in 1991-92 (Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, David Robinson).

The present team has about three players at that rebound rate last season (Tyson Chandler, Clipper Blake Griffin, Grizzlie Kevin Love). The 1992 team had two players (Ewing, Robinson) who blocked no less than 5 percent of the shot attempts they faced in 1991-92. No 2012 player had a block percentage greater than 3.4 last season (Chandler).

The 1992 team was about 2½ years older on average (28.8-26.2). Other than Bird and Magic, every Dream Team member was 30 years old or younger. Each member of the current team is 29 or younger, apart from Kobe, who is 33. But the NBA experience level is about the same.

The 1992 team had, on average, 7.3 years of practical experience per player. This year’s team has 7.1. The 2012 version has seven championships among them, carried by Kobe’s five. LeBron and Chandler each have one. The present team has members of each of the past four NBA champions, while the 1992 team had members of the then-past two champions.

There’s no assurance the 2012 team wins the gold medal this summer, but LeBron, Durant and Kobe could probably rampage through the other teams at the 1992 Olympics relatively conveniently.

The 1992 Dream Team involved greats such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson among others. In all 11 Hall of Famers were on the team.

The latest 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team consists of superstars such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony.

Conclusion
2012 team has looked strong during its very first two games at the London Olympics 2012, and you can anticipate to see more of the same during Team USA vs. Nigeria as the team continues its bid for a gold medal. This year’s team may be preferred to bring back the gold from London, yet compared to its counterparts who took Barcelona by thunderstorm in the summer of 1992, the 2012 team appears at the silver podium.

NBA All-Stars: West defeated East (152-149) – Recap

Kobe Bryant got the scoring record, Kevin Durant the MVP, and the West got the win – barely.

Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant scored 36 points to lead the Western Conference All-Stars to a 152-149 victory against the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, earning MVP honors in the process. The game proved to be about as dramatic as one without any lead-changes can be, as the East rallied from a deficit that reached as many as 20 points in the final period to draw to within one point twice in the final two minutes, only to come up short. LeBron James had 36 points, six rebounds, and seven assists for the East, while Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade posted a 24-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.

James and Deron Williams helped lead the East’s comeback effort as each hit a pair of three-pointers in the final period. Williams ignited the Amway Center crowd by stealing a Durant inbounds pass under the basket and laying the ball in to bring the East to within a point. After forcing a LA Lakers Kobe Bryant miss, the East had a chance to claim its first lead of the game on a fast break, but Wade lost the ball out of bounds on what should have been an easy layup attempt.

And, in a twist that’ll be debated throughout the media in the days ahead, James turned the ball over with two seconds left and his team trailing by two points. Williams’ go-ahead three-point try missed the mark, but New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony made an impressive back-tap to keep the ball alive for the East. James recovered the ball, but fumbled it away before the East could call timeout or get anything going. It was the 19th turnover of the night for the host conference, which was one of the factors that contributed to its defeat: the West scored 30 points off the East’s turnovers.

The game got off to a horrid start, with the East somehow managing to shoot 43.3 percent in the first period of an All-Star Game. The silliness progressed from there, as one might expect, given the low-intensity, low-stakes nature of the event. The West’s 88 first-half points set a new record for All-Star scoring in a half, which is as good an indicator of the quality of play through the first 24 minutes as any.

But in the third quarter, the game turned and all the players on both sides seemed to wake up. James hit three three-pointers in the first three minutes after halftime, helping the East cut the West’s lead from 21 to 12. Wade’s hard foul of a driving Bryant at the 8:48 mark–it drew blood! in an All-Star Game!–signaled the East meant business, and would not be content to let the West continue to pile up the points. Bryant declined to address the media after the game due to a headache he suffered on that foul.

Durant had plenty of help in leading the West to its second consecutive victory. Bryant scored 27, though he shot just 4-of-11 after the first period, while Russell Westbrook scored 21 points in 28 minutes off the bench, giving the East fits with his speed and leaping ability. Kevin Love scored eight of his quiet 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the West hold off the East.

Conclusion:
In all, the players rewarded the City of Orlando with an All-Star Game for the ages, despite the low-energy first half. Several records fell: Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the career All-Star scoring list; the East made 14 three-pointers; the teams combined for 301 points; Wade tallied the third triple-double in All-Star history; and Durant and James nearly broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record for single-game All-Star scoring (42 points).