Giannis Antetokounmpo provides fireworks at NBA AllStar Game but his team comes up short

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Giannis Antetokounmpo provides fireworks at NBA AllStar Game but his team comes up short

LOS ANGELES - After catching flak for lackluster effort — mostly on the defensive end — in past NBA All-Star Games, the league got the dramatic, down-to-the-wire thriller it was hoping for on Sunday night at the Staples Center.

There was a full-court press in the final seconds of the first half. At crunch time, players lobbied for a review of an out-of-bounds call. There were timeouts to strategize, clutch plays and high intensity.

A glorified dunk show in the past, this iteration more closely resembled real basketball than past All-Star Games. Everyone on the court clearly wanted to win while playing under a new format with teams selected by captains, higher game checks on the line for the winning team as well as a charity component, with the winning team's charity of choice receiving a larger donation.

"I think the whole game was competitive," Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan said. "It just got more and more competitive as the game went on, especially in that fourth quarter. It was a full-out, real-life game, and it was fun. I think this All-Star Game was definitely one of the best ones I've been part of. With the new format, guys took it extremely serious, you know, being able to play with guys from different conferences and go out there and compete was everything."

Team Stephen, picked by Golden State's Stephen Curry and including Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, led for much of the night, owning an advantage as large as 15 points. But down the stretch, Team LeBron captain LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers refused to let his team stay down.

The two teams stuck within a basket of each other for the final four minutes, with Team LeBron coming up with clutch plays — including a last-second stop — to claim a 148-145 victory. James had 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and was named the game's MVP for the third time in his career.


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Date Posted: Mon, 19 Feb 2018, 03:46 pm

Tags: Giannis Antetokounmpo

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