Monday, February 18, 2013

CHECK OUT THE GLAMOUR OF THE NBA ALL STARS AS WESTERN CONFERENCE WINS 2013 EDITION


Star man: Los Angeles Clippers player Chris Paul holds the MVP trophy after beating the East during the 62nd NBA All-Star game at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
Western Conference were crowned NBA All-Star champions after they beat the Eastern Conference 143-138 in a thrilling night of action during All-Star weekend in Houston.

In a new format for the evening, the Eastern Conference and Western Conference went head to head over the four events and Terrence Ross from Toronto Raptors won the prestigious Slam Dunk Contest at the end of an entertaining evening.

In each of the four events, the total score/time for each conference were added together in the team round and the best team would receive points which counted towards the overall total. 

The best performer from each Conference would then advance to the championship round to determine the winner of the event.

An inspired MVP performance from Los Angeles Clippers point-guard Chris Paul led the Western Conference to win over the Eastern Conference


Paul racked up 20 points and 15 assists in Houston during the West’s five-point win while Oklahoma’s Kevin Durant starred with 30 points.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony led the way for the East with 26 points while Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade scored 21 in the eagerly-anticipated, star-studded match.
Game for a laugh: Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant share a joke with the East Team's Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade

Clippers team-mates Paul and Blake Griffin were on the same wavelength right from the beginning as ‘CP3’ twice assisted Griffin for easy lay-ins under the rim to put the West 4-0 up.

Durant added a three pointer just after for the West before Anthony scored the first basket for the Eastern Conference.

Centre of attention: LeBron James was all smiles as he took to the court
The league’s best player Lebron James didn’t take long to stamp his authority on the game with three powerful slam dunks before Joakim Noah put the East ahead for the first time at 24-23.

Even so, the Western Conference finished the first quarter strong with an 8-2 run to lead 31-26.

The West picked up where they left off in the second quarter as they moved 38-30 ahead. The East recovered in double quick time, though, and Jrue Holiday’s dunk with just over eight minutes until half-time put them ahead 41-40.

But the two star performers of the first half were both from the West. Paul led the offence with nine assists while Durant scored 19 points as the Western Conference led 69-65 at the interval.

Sing when you're winning: Alicia Keys performs during half-time
After Alicia Keys performed during half-time at the Toyota Centre, the players returned for the third quarter where the match turned into a three-point fest.

Wade and Dwight Howard exchanged threes to begin with before Anthony, Durant, Paul and Tony Parker all got in on the act.
Brit special: Luol Deng was on show for the East as he came up against James Harden

Holiday scored a mid-range jump shot on the buzzer for the East but the Western Conference maintained their four-point lead to end the third quarter 108-104 ahead.

Houston’s James Harden and Texas ‘neighbour’ Parker, from San Antonio, stretched the Western Conference’s margin to 10 points at 119-109 before a nine-point run for the East, including a three-pointer from Cleveland’s rising star Kyrie Irving reduced the West’s lead to 119-118.

Take a break: James has a breather as rap mogul Jay-Z and pop star wife Beyonce look on

Saturday night started with the Shooting Stars Challenge in which each conference had two teams made up of an NBA star, an NBA legend and a women’s NBA player.

The Western Conference went first and Team (James) Harden started proceedings by completing all six stations in 37.9 seconds before Team (Russell) Westbrook blitzed the course in an impressive 29.5s, giving the West an overall time of 1:07.4.

The Eastern Conference couldn’t respond as firstly Team (Chris) Bosh took 50s to complete the six stages before Team (Brook) Lopez recorded a leisurely 1:07, giving the East a total time of 1:57. 

Leap of faith: West All-Star Jeremy Evans jumps over a person in the slam dunk contest
The West scored 20 points as a result of having a better overall time before the best team from each conference, Team Bosh from the East and Team Westbrook from the West, advanced to the championship round.

Team Bosh went first and they set the standard with 1:29, which looked to be too slow. 

But, in response, Team Westbrook stalled at the final stage and couldn’t complete the course in time. Team Bosh were crowned Shooting Stars Challenge winners and they earned 10 points for the Eastern Conference in the process.
 The night started with the Shooting Stars Challenge in which each conference had two teams made up of an NBA star, an NBA legend and a women’s NBA player.

The Western Conference went first and Team (James) Harden started proceedings by completing all six stations in 37.9 seconds before Team (Russell) Westbrook blitzed the course in an impressive 29.5s, giving the West an overall time of 1:07.4.

The Eastern Conference couldn’t respond as firstly Team (Chris) Bosh took 50s to complete the six stages before Team (Brook) Lopez recorded a leisurely 1:07, giving the East a total time of 1:57. The West scored 20 points as a result of having a better overall time before the best team from each conference, Team Bosh from the East and Team Westbrook from the West, advanced to the championship round.

Team Bosh went first and they set the standard with 1:29, which looked to be too slow. But, in response, Team Westbrook stalled at the final stage and couldn’t complete the course in time. Team Bosh were crowned Shooting Stars Challenge winners and they earned 10 points for the Eastern Conference in the process.

In the second event, the Skills Challenge, each conference had three players in the team round and the East went first. The Eastern Conference got faster as the event went on as Altanta’s Jeff Teague completed the course in 49.4 seconds then Detroit’s Brandon Knight went round in 32.2 before finally Jrue Holiday from Philadelphia completed the challenge in 29.3 seconds, a total team time of 1:50.9.

Houston’s Jeremy Lin went first for the West and he recorded 35.8 seconds before Portland’s Damian Lillard completed the course in 28.8. The Western Conference looked set to win the team round and 30 more points with Tony Parker only needing to go faster than 46.2 seconds. But the Spurs guard recorded a painfully slow time of 48.7 and, instead, the East won the team round and 30 points.

Holiday and Lillard squared off in the championship round and Holiday set the benchmark with a time of 35.6 seconds. But Lillard was too good as he, once again, went under 30 seconds to win the Skills Challenge, and 10 points for the west, in 29.8 seconds.

Child on board: East All-Star Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors jumps over a boy
The Three-Point Challenge was up next and the three players from the Western Conference went first. The West got better as the challenge went on. Stephen Curry, from Golden State, scored 17 before New Orleans’s Ryan Anderson scored 18. The best was saved until last, though, as San Antonio’s Matt Bonner scored 19 to give the West a team total of 54.

The East started well in their reply as Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving scored 18. But Indiana’s Paul George could only score a below-par 10 and Steve Novak’s 17 wasn’t enough as the Eastern Conference scored 45, which meant the West won the 40 points on offer in the team round.

Bonner and Irving advanced to the championship round and the latter set an enormous score of 23. Bonner couldn’t top that as he fell three short on 20 and Irving won the Three-Point Challenge, as well as 10 points for the East.

The final event was the Slam Dunk Contest and the East made a flying start with a score of 145 in the first round. Gerald Green and Ross both registered a perfect score of 50, which earned the East 20 bonus points, while New York’s James White scored 45.

The West were off the pace in the first round as both Kenneth Faried and Eric Bledsoe scored just 39. Utah’s Jeremy Evans went last and scored 47 but the Western Conference only managed 125 and trailed by 20 points after the first round.

But the Eastern Conference opened the door in the second round as both White and Green couldn’t pull off their dunks and they both scored just 32. Ross went last and scored 49 to give the Eastern Conference a total of 258.

It was role reversal from the first round, though, as the West scored two ‘perfect’ dunks through Faried and Bledsoe. That left Evans needing just 34 to win the team round for the West and he sailed past that mark, scoring 43 to record a team total of 268.

Triumphant: Team Bosh celebrate winning at the skills challenge
Evans beat both his West team-mates by one point to advance to the championship round to face Ross from the Eastern Conference. Both men pulled off two supreme dunks in the final but it was Toronto’s Ross who was named Slam Dunk champion with 58 per cent of the public votes.

Champs: Chris Paul holds the trophy after the West won overall at NBA All-Star Saturday Night
Western Conference had the last laugh, though, as they emerged as the winners by a 140-125 margin.
 
After a day off on Monday, it will be back to business in the NBA on Tuesday as the race to the post-season enters the home straight. Miami Heat remain the class of the Eastern Conference following their title-winning season last year.

Last year’s losing finalists Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, the team with the best record in the NBA at 42-12, are both going well in the West while the soap story that is the Los Angeles Lakers are still outside the play-off places.

Source: DAILYMAIL

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