17 time All-Star Lebron James took to the court alongside the NBA’s greatest talent as the annual event took place in a unique format due to COVID-19 restrictions, which saw 2500 fans allowed in to the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. James faced off against Team Durant, picked by the injured Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant.
Prior to tip off Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers was victorious in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and two-time MVP Steph Curry won the Mountain Dew Three Point Contest for the second time in his career. 21 Year Old Anfernee Simons claimed victory in the Slam Dunk Contest.
The night saw a heavy focus on charitable donations with focus on Historically Black College’s and Universities (HBCU’s). The design of the court and the headphones worn during the interviews were designed by students from HBCU’s and students were awarded scholarships throughout the show. The event also saw special recognition to the country’s frontline workers during the pandemic.
History was made on numerous occasions as for the first time, three Utah Jazz players were selected as NBA All-Stars, Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Michael Conley. A fair representation for the team with the best record in the league so far this season. Simons was also the first Trailblazer’s player to win the Slam Dunk Contest.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic organisers condensed the event to what is usually the All-Star weekend, to become a singular fast-paced event.
The final quarter of the game had no time limit. In honour of the late Kobe Bryant the winner was decided by the first team who could reach the highest score after three quarters, plus 24. That being the number Bryant famously wore on his jersey as well as the number eight.
After three quarters Team LeBron had scored 136 points setting a target of 170 which was reached when Damian Lollards scored from long range. The game finished 170-150 in favour of Team LeBron.
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