MANILA, Philippines – Team LeBron reasserted its mastery over Team Giannis as it reigned supreme in an NBA All-Star Game for the ages.
Team LeBron staged an inspired fourth-quarter comeback to hack out a thrilling 157-155 victory over Team Giannis at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday, February 16 (Monday, February 17, Manila time).
Anthony Davis, who hails from Chicago, hit the win-clinching free throw as the All-Star Game became more than just a showcase of dunks and long bombs with its format tweaked in honor of the late Kobe Bryant.
The All-Star Game this year featured the first 3 quarters played like mini games, with the team winning each period getting $100,000 for its chosen charity.
A target score was then set in the 4th quarter as the total points scored of the leading team was accumulated and added by 24, the number Bryant wore for half of his storied career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Team Giannis led 133-124 after 3 quarters to set the target score at 157, but it was Team LeBron – winner in the last two All-Star Games – which won.
Playing for Bryant and their chosen charities, the two teams fought toe to toe before the game was decided by Davis, who calmly sank the second of his two free throws after deliberately missing the first.
Kawhi Leonard paced Team LeBron with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals to win the All-Star MVP award named after Bryant, who won the plum a record 4 times.