Team LeBron prevails in a thriller

Feb 18 2018 Raleigh NC USA New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall scores his game winning overtime goal past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward at PNC Arena. The New Jersey Devils defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in the overtime. Mandato

There was sufficient doubt the novelty of a new format would translate to the court after tip-off.

Aside from moving ahead of Roberston in assists, the four-time league MVP also leaped past former Celtics greats Larry Bird and Dave Cowens to tie Kevin Garnett for 12th place in total rebounds with 88 for his career.

This year the league made a decision to go to a new format for picking the teams to try and make the games more competitive and it worked.

Or maybe closer to the truth: the All-Star Game is not actually for the fans.

In a survey of 48 anonymous players conducted by ESPN during NBA All-Star weekend, the overwhelming sentiment was that James, who spurned the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 and left the Miami Heat in 2014 to return to his beloved northeast OH, will and should stay right where he is.

Of course, the testament to whether the new format and increased player incentives would actually work would be defense.

"They put on a show, but they gave the crowd something to root for rather than just wilding with dunks and lobs", said Paul George, who scored 16 points for Team LeBron.

Last night's All-Star game was as special of an event as we've seen in a while.

"A few of us took it personal and kept the game at a pretty high level", Irving said about the intensity and high-level of unusual defense play.

A thrilling fourth quarter had an even greater "real-game feel", in the words of James, who checked back into the contest with just over nine minutes remaining and his team trailing by seven points. But from Cleveland's perspective, ownership is willing to pay $150 million in luxury taxes for a team led by James but not for a package of Gordon and Anderson. Curry pumped but brought the ball back down - perhaps not expecting a trap so early on but James, after facing Curry in the NBA Finals in each of the last three years, knew better.

Curry was double teamed so he passed to DeRozan who missed on a long attempt from the right corner as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

He said learning how to be a pro was the biggest thing he got out of this experience. But the Lakers will make a pitch to George this summer, after a year of rumors linking him to LA. "If you are able to have accolades along the journey then that is cool and this is one of them".

Kevin Durant scored 19 points grabbed six rebounds and had five assists for Team Lebron.

With captain Stephen Curry sitting on the bench eating popcorn, Team Stephen maintained its lead early in the third.

It only makes sense for the MVP award to go to the winning team, which was Team LeBron. "Everybody just falls in line when the game tells you to".

James was complimentary of Los Angeles as a host city all weekend, a fact that is not likely lost on Lakers fans.

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