Basketball: NBA All-Star game format to honour Kobe Bryant

People stand near a makeshift memorial to NBA star Kobe Bryant outside Staples Centre in Los Angeles. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Kobe Bryant's jersey number 24 will be honored at the NBA All-Star Game in February under a new format for the mid-season exhibition announced on Thursday (Jan 30).

The NBA said every quarter of this year's All-Star game will be a "mini-game" for charity with an untimed final period with a target score that will decide who wins.

Scores will be reset to 0-0 at the start of the second and third quarters, then restored to start the fourth.

Then a target score comes into play, with the first team to reach that number winning. The target will be the number of points scored by the leading team from the first three quarters, plus 24.

The NBA said All-Star weekend in Chicago, capped by the game on February 16, will feature multiple tributes to Bryant, the five-time NBA champion who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday that also claimed the lives of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people.

The 69th All-Star game will feature teams led by Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

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