NBA: Davis refuses to wilt as West seal victory

Western Conference forward Anthony Davis slam dunking as Eastern Conference forward LeBron James looks on during the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.
Western Conference forward Anthony Davis slam dunking as Eastern Conference forward LeBron James looks on during the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

West win 192-182 and MVP Davis nets record 52pts as Kerr urges more competitive games

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana) • Anthony Davis scored a record 52 points on his home court, as the West team continued their domination by outgunning the East 192-182 in the 66th annual National Basketball Association All-Star Game.

Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans star, was named the MVP (Most Valuable Player) and broke the scoring record of 42 points set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.

He also made 26 of 39 shots from the field, eclipsing Blake Griffin's 2014 record of 19 field goals in an All-Star game.

"I was shocked," Davis said. "I am just happy I was able to take the MVP home in front of home fans.

  • 52

    Record points scored in a single All-Star Game, set by Anthony Davis on Sunday, breaking Wilt Chamberlain's record of 42 points set in 1962.

    374

    Record total points scored in the game, breaking last year's mark of 369 points.

    0

    Defensive effort from both sides during the game.

"The guys said they were going to give me the ball. They were men of their word. It was a fun game. I didn't want anybody to get hurt."

Defence was non-existent at the Smoothie King Centre, as Davis set the tone with 22 first-half points. And Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook combined on a couple of playful passing exchanges, including one in the opening quarter with former team-mate Kevin Durant.

The teams combined for 374 points and it was the second straight year the sides broke the combined record. Last year, the teams set a record of 369 in the West's 196-173 win.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the league should look at inducements to get the players to try harder.

"I would like to see it more competitive. It'd be good to have incentives for the guys, get charities involved," he said of the lack of defence.

The East was led by Milwaukee Bucks centre Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 28 points, and Cleveland's LeBron James, making his 13th All-Star start, with 23 points.

Westbrook tallied 41 points as he was reunited for one night with Durant, who is in his first season with the Warriors after leaving the Thunder.

Many of the headlines before the All-Star Game centred on the soured relationship between Westbrook and Durant but they combined well on the court.

Halfway through the first quarter, Westbrook and Durant ran across mid-court on either side of the key.

Westbrook flicked a pass to Durant on the left side. Durant tossed it right back to Westbrook on a give-and-go that resulted in an easy lay-up and a 31-28 West lead.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook told ESPN.

"Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high, so yeah, good play."

The East led 53-48 after 12 minutes - the 101 combined points was an All-Star Game record for a quarter - and the West took a 97-92 half-time lead.

The 189 first-half points broke the All-Star record of 187 points set in the first half last year with the West leading 104-83.

"We had fun and hopefully we put on a show," New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2017, with the headline 'Davis refuses to wilt on march to victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe