Plenty of players could lay claim to the NBA's All-Star MVP. That is always the case in a game where there is little defense and the very best players can just showcase their offensive skills without impunity.
If that is the case than Cleveland's Kyrie Irving is your man.
He crissed and crossed his way through the "defense" time and time again, setting himself and others up for easy buckets. It helped the East erase an 18-point deficit and give the East a surprising 163-155 win.
Irving was named the MVP with 31 points on 14-for-17 shooting and 14 assists. He had 24 points and seven assists in the second half, a performance reminiscent of Glen Rice's amazing 1998 All-Star performance. Irving put on his amazing dribbling display with quick drives through the lane for layups and to set up one of the many dunks.
He was far from the only star and he was far from providing the only highlights, especially in a close game at the end.
Kevin Durant and LeBron James tried to go one-on-one as the game was close at the end. Neither really came out on top. Irving set up Joakim Noah and James to help the East secure the win. Durant could not hit the shots his team needed to keep the West's win streak alive. They might be the better conference by record, but not on this night.
Carmelo Anthony took Irving's last assist, off an offensive rebound, and nailed his All-Star record eighth 3-pointer to ice the game. Anthony put in his bid to win the MVP with 30 points. LeBron James had an impressive 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Again, they were far from the only stars.
Blake Griffin took a run at Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record 42 points. Griffin had 38 points, most on rim-rattling dunks that delighted the crowd.
Durant made his run at it too with 38 points as well and 10 rebounds and six assists. Durant was putting on his shooting display from ridiculous distance and showed off his athleticism with some crazy leaping for dunks.
The teams put on the record for most points in the first half of the All-Star Game and for the entire game. When things got intense, the teams put on a great show.
Irving was the catalyst of it all in closing this one out.
One thing was very clear however. The NBA is in some very good hands with so many great young players putting on a show. Adam Silver should be very happy with the talent he has in the league for a long, long time.
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