Team USA rallies past Team World in Rising Stars contest

LOS ANGELES, USA – Team USA outgunned Team World, 151-131, in the NBA's Rising Stars event on Friday, February 14 (Saturday, February 15, Philippine time) in a game that lacked little semblance of defense even before it deteriorated into an unofficial dunk contest.

As Team USA put the contest out of reach in the 4th quarter, the players stepped aside to let the impromptu dunking take place, featuring Team USA's Zion Williamson.

The forward even bent the basket with one of his rim-shaking dunks earlier in the game.

Golden State Warriors player Eric Paschall led Team USA with 23 points, and Canadian RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks had a game-high 27 points for Team World at the United Center arena in Chicago.

Williamson, who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans, finished with 14 points.

Miles Bridges of Team USA was named MVP of the game after scoring 20 points.

"We wanted to come out and play hard in the Rising Stars and show what Charlotte is about – me, Devonte' (Graham) and PJ (Washington)," Bridges said.

"I didn't have any extra motivation, really, I wouldn't say that. But MJ (Michael Jordan) putting Chicago on the map, it definitely plays a big part, though."

Team USA seized command in the 3rd quarter when they showed their offensive prowess by outscoring Team World, 44-24.

Bridges connected on three-pointers in back-to-back possessions to cut a 12-point lead in half with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

Three minutes later, Graham made a pair of threes to put Team USA ahead 104-103. It was their first lead since the opening minutes of the game.

Team World led 81-71 at the half after Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic sank a shot from halfcourt with two seconds remaining in the 2nd quarter.

The game was part of the weekend festivities leading up to the All-Star Game on Sunday night.