Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Team Stephen were on the losing end of Sunday’s NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles, falling to Team Lebron 148-145.
The NBA All-Star game has never been anything to write home about in terms of effort. In past years, its been nothing more than a dunk and three-point shooting contest with little or no defense being played.
While Sunday’s game was by no means a defensive clinic, there was some individual effort on display, which made the result seem a little closer to an actual NBA game.
Team Stephen, which was picked by Golden State’s Stephen Curry, led for much of the night. They were up by as many as 15 points at one point. But Lebron James led the comeback for Team Lebron. He finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and was named the games MVP.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists in the loss for Team Stephen.
Team Stephen had one last chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but Stephen Curry couldn’t get a shot off because of Team Lebron’s stellar defense.
With the two teams putting more emphasis on defense, the all-stars settled for more three’s. But the result was anything but star-studded. They made just 36 of 123 shots from long-range.
Certainly the improved play and effort level was an improvement from the pregame festivities.
Comedian Kevin Hart handled introductions and that certainly left much to be desired. Former Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie then came with her version of the National Anthem which brought more than a small amount of eye rolling from the crowd. Social Media also blew up as a result.
In the end, not much is expected from all-star games in any sport. So the actual game passed the test. The league will have to go back to the drawing board in terms of pregame entertainment.