March 7 (UPI) — Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo guided Team LeBron to a dominant 170-150 win over Team Durant in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night in Atlanta.
Antetokounmpo, who was named MVP of the game, was a perfect 16 of 16 from the field and scored 35 points. Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry added 28 points, while Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had 32.
Western Conference captain and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, whose All-Star teams are now 4-0 since the new format was adopted, spent most of the night resting on the bench. He played less than 13 minutes and finished with four points.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, who drafted the Eastern Conference squad, didn’t participate in the game because of a hamstring injury.
Team LeBron swept the first three quarters and was the first squad to reach the final target score, earning $1.25 million for its selected charity. Team LeBron was playing for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Team Durant was competing for the United Negro College Fund.
Despite the loss, Team Durant raised $500,000 for the United Negro College Fund.
During halftime of the All-Star Game, Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons beat New York Knicks rookie forward Obi Toppin to win the NBA dunk contest. He became the first Trail Blazers player to win the annual dunk competition.
Simons, who nearly kissed the rim on his last dunk attempt, bested Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers in the opening round before defeating Toppin in the final round.
“Having a chance to come in and be a part of it and win it, it’s surreal,” Simons said.
Earlier Sunday, Curry outdueled Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley to win his second 3-point contest, while Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis edged Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic in the final round of the skills challenge.
Curry scored 28 points in the final round of the 3-point contest, draining his last money ball shot to edge Conley’s total of 27.
“I could hear whatever crowd was in here, I could hear the temperature rise a little bit,” Curry said about his final shot. “I knew I had to knock it down. It was a fun battle.”
Curry became the seventh player in NBA history to win multiple 3-point contests, joining Larry Bird, Craig Hodges, Mark Price, Jeff Hornacek, Peja Stojakovic and Jason Kapono. Curry’s first win in the shooting competition came in 2015.
Sabonis beat out Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and Vucevic to win the skills challenge for the first time.
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