By George Devine, Sr.
The midseason classic of the NBA surpassed the title of the late sportswriter Leonard Koppett’s book “24 Seconds to Shoot”. The New York Times scribe, narrating the foundation of the league, was illustrating the conscious desire for a fast-paced game, with the hope that most games would end in triple-digit scores. In a game where pride is the object, and the best from the league compete against one another, caution is thrown to the winds and the shot clock seldom goes into double digits. Not only that, but the evening is full of slam dunks and alley-oops all adding to the excitement for the crowds both in the arena and watching on television.
This time, after three losses, it was the East that won, 163-155,enjoying a 10-0 run at the end even though the West led by 18 at one point. A key player in the victory was Carmelo Anthony who achieved an ASG record with 8 from beyond the 3-point line, as part of his 30-point total. Kyrie Irving had 31 and contributed 14 assists; he was voted the MVP for the East. LeBron James had 22 points, 7 rebounds — all but one on defense — and 7 assists.
The West actually outscored the East in the first period, 44-42 and in the second, 45-34. But in the latter two quarters the East pulled ahead. One element was their perfect free throw record of 9-9, as opposed to the West’s 9-12. The East also dominated on field goals, scoring 60.9% over the West’s 51.2%. On three-pointers the East also led, 31.8% to 28.6%.
Paul George added to the East’s totals with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Marquette alumnus Dwayne Wade had 10 points, 1 offensive rebound and 4 assists.
For the West, Kevin Durant scored 38 points as did Blake Griffin. Durant had 10 boards as well. Stephen Curry had 12 points and 11 assists. Kevin Love had 13 points and 9 rebounds, all but one on defense. Chris Paul had 11 points with 13 valuable assists, and Anthony Davis scored 10.