Durant dunks it West’s way
HOUSTON – Kevin Durant scored 30 points, while game MVP Chris Paul had 20 points and 15 assists as the Western Conference beat the East 143-138 in the NBA All-Star game last night.
Blake Griffin finished with 19 points and Kobe Bryant blocked LeBron James twice in the final minutes, that duo joining Paul to turn the West’s victory into something of an LA story.
James scored 19 points but shot seven of 18 in a turnaround for his recent shooting for the Miami Heat.
Carmelo Anthony led the East with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
The first dunk of the game came 16 seconds in, Paul throwing a pass to LA Clippers’ teammate Griffin as part of the West’s 7-0 start.
The West led after each of the first three quarters, though were never ahead by more than eight points through three periods.
They finally pushed it into double figures early in the fourth, fuelled by former Oklahoma City teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden, but couldn’t put it away until a late run behind the guys from LA – who along with Lakers centre Dwight Howard gave the two Los Angeles teams all but one of the West’s starting spots.
Paul hit two three-pointers, Bryant made a lay-up and his block of James led to Durant’s dunk that made it 136-126.
Griffin had one last forceful dunk to help close it out, throwing a pass to himself off the backboard and climbing high to slam it home and make it 142-134.††