Thanks to a perfect 16-for-16 performance – including multiple shot banking – Milwaukee Bucks star Janice Antetokumpompo won her first NBA Most Valuable Player Award in the All-Star Game, while LeBron went on to win 170-150 Durant Sunday night in Atlanta.
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In-game team LeBron controlled from start to finish, these were Antetokounmpo (who finished with a high game of 35 points), Stephen Curry (28 points and eight 3-point points) and Damian Lillard (32 points and hitting the game’s 3 -pointer ) who led the way. The three fought for the MVP trophy until the end, eventually winning it Antetokounmpo.
At 100%, Antetokounmpo recorded the best percentage of field goals in an All-Star game ever with a minimum of 10 attempts. The previous record for most brands without a pass belongs to Hal Greer, who went 8 to 8 in the 1968 All-Star Game.
“It’s fun,” Antetokumpo said. “It’s fun. I was happy, my teammates had fun and just being among the great players, it’s just easy to play with them.”
This game of the stars, like everything else for this season, was inevitably changed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally planned to be in Indianapolis, instead it was moved to Atlanta. Only a handful of fans were in the stands and strict quarantines were imposed on everyone involved.
However, that didn’t stop the virus from infiltrating the event, as tracking contacts forced Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to be removed from the league – and potentially stay away from the Sixers when the second half of the season begins in Thursday.
The situation with Embiid and Simmons was an exact example NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned on Saturday when discussing why he thought most NBA players would eventually get the vaccine. While Silver said the NBA would not authorize players to receive the vaccine if they were vaccinated, they would no longer have to quarantine – and thus could not play – if they came in contact with someone who tested positive. for COVID-19.
But when LeBron James was asked for a vaccination Sunday afternoon during his pre-game media availability, he declined to say if he would get it.
“This is a conversation that my family and I will have. We largely keep this to personal matters,” James said. “Obviously I saw that Adam had his comments about vaccination. But things like that, when you decide to do something, it’s a conversation between you and your family, not for everyone. I’ll keep it that way.”
James, who said early last month that the NBA’s choice to host the All-Star Game amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was a “slap in the face” last month, responded to another quote he had about the game that day.
“I’ll be there if they choose me,” James said. “But I will be there physically, but not mentally.”
James, who had not scored less than 13 points in any of his previous 16 All-Star appearances, had just four points in a 2-for-7 shootout – including a bout of two wide-open teams – in 13 minutes. His teams are now 4-0, as the league has moved to its current format, with the two best voting participants choosing their teams in 2018.
Giannis Antetokounmpo maintained his perfect series as he banked in a 3-point to put it at 16-for-16 in the middle of the third quarter of the All-Star Game.
The LeBron team donated more than $ 1 million to the Turgud Marshall College Fund because of its victory, while the Durant Team donated $ 500,000 to the United Negro College Fund.
Atlanta-born Jaylan Brown hit 3 points with 1:33 left in the first quarter to give LeBron a win in the first quarter. The second was far less competitive, as a 27-8 run over the last 3:54 of the second allowed LeBron to take a 20-point lead at halftime.
LeBron also won the third quarter by one point and led by 21 points in the fourth quarter – meaning that with Elam Ending, LeBron simply had to score 24 points before Durant scored 45.
The only drama left at this point will be whether Antetokounmpo, Curry or – after a late boot Lillard – will eventually win the All-Star MVP trophy for the first time. But while Curry had a chance to finish the game with a half-court jersey and missed, on the next trip down, Lillard pulled himself out of the half-court line and buried him instead.
In the end, however, the Greek freak and his perfect night won the day.