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The NBA All-Star Game is a weekend long celebration of the league's elite talent. It's the only time all year that superstars come together on one court to compete for fans' attention.
On Sunday in Salt Lake City, Utah, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum set a new All-Star Game record with 55 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and six assists to lead Team Giannis to an 184-175 victory over Team LeBron.
On Sunday night in Utah, the NBA All-Star Game was full of records - but Jayson Tatum's was one that stood out the most. The Boston Celtics forward scored 55 points to lead Team Giannis past Team LeBron 184-175.
Not only did he break the All-Star Game record for most points, but he also set a new mark for most points in a quarter. At 27 points in the third quarter alone - more than any other player has scored during an All-Star Game ever!
It was the first time both East and West captains chose their players from within the court, rather than conducting a traditional draft. Giannis Antetokounmpo chose Tatum with his first pick from the starter pool, while LeBron James chose Brown with his second selection from the reserve pool.
As soon as they stepped on the court, the crowd got into it. This game was an intensely high-scoring contest with both teams scoring over 40 points per quarter.
On Monday night, Tatum proved why he is the best player in the league. He set multiple All-Star Game records and even earned himself the MVP title of the event.
He also had an epic dunk battle with Boston Celtics teammates Jaylen Brown and Damian Lillard. Both players had impressive games, but Tatum truly stole the show by leaving everyone in tears and cameras rolling.
After the game, Tatum told reporters he had an "awesome" performance and a "perfect night." He thanked Coach Mazzulla for his assistance and stated they can now enjoy some rest after such a hectic schedule.
The All-Star Game featured many enjoyable moments, from Brown's dunk battle to Lillard's 3-point shot. It was an enjoyable game but not without its share of issues.
After three quarters, the score is 158-141 between the teams. To decide the victor in the All-Star Game, teams will now play to a Final Target Score; whichever team reaches it first will win. To calculate this number, take the leading team's cumulative score plus 24 -- Kobe Bryant's uniform number.
On LeBron James' night, Jayson Tatum made NBA All-Star Game history by breaking Anthony Davis' point record of 53 points. He shot 9-of-11 from the field, including 5-of-8 from three-point range and an unbeatable 3-for-3 at the free-throw line for a team-high 53 points.
The 21-year-old Celtics star, who was the first pick of the night in the pregame All-Star Draft, was instrumental in their team winning for the first time in five years. His captaincy spurred Team Giannis' run that led them to a 184-175 victory over King James' side and ended James' five-year win streak as captain along the way.
Following a quick shot in the paint, Tatum bolted out of it and weaved around his defense for an incredible dunk in the air that sent his teammates flying. This move drew an enthusiastic crowd to Cleveland as it set the stage for what would become an amazing night of basketball.
Boston's young star had an outstanding night, scoring 35 points and pulling down 14 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. Additionally, he provided two assists and hit some impressive shots from behind the arc to further bolster his already impressive resume.
Before joining the Celtics, Tatum was an outstanding high school player at Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur, Missouri where he averaged 29.6 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. During his high school tenure with the Red Devils, they won both Metro Catholic Conference (MCC) and Missouri District 2 championships.
Tatum was a two-time first-team All-American for Chaminade University and led their team to an MCC title in 2015. He was also nominated for the National High School Coaches Association's national player of the year award and named Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2016.
This season, the Celtics hope to take their game to new heights and this All-Star Game serves as a key opportunity to show off their young stars. Jayson Tatum and Antonio Brown have become true superstars, helping the team develop into one that will be hard to beat in the playoffs.
SALT LAKE CITY - Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will not participate in the second half of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night due to an injury suffered while blocking Pascal Siakam's shot during the first half. According to the league, James suffered a right hand sprain while trying to block Siakam's attempt at making a basket during practice.
James had a difficult night on the court, finishing with 13 points and four assists in 14 minutes but his team ultimately lost 184-175 to Team Giannis Antetokounmpo in their matchup of leading vote-getters. It marked James' first loss as captain of an All-Star Game, ending his perfect 5-0 streak by the Bucks forward's side.
It was an exciting game, with Jayson Tatum setting a new All-Star Game scoring record with 55 points for Team Giannis. Additionally, the Boston Celtics forward was voted MVP by the crowd.
After the first quarter, TNT reported that James would not return to the game due to a hand injury. They noted that one of his fingers had been jammed on a blocked-shot attempt, yet he appeared unbothered by it.
Though James suffered a setback on Monday night, it's worth remembering that this is only the start of what could be an incredible season for him. With 23 games left to go, there is still plenty of time for him to find his form and once again be undisputed as the best player in the NBA.
After the All-Star Game is behind them, it's time to focus on the postseason. The defending champions, the Warriors, are in great position for another title this year but there are still obstacles in their way - including a tough road trip to Dallas.
The All-Star Game is an opportunity for the top players in the league, but it's not always a fair fight. Furthermore, it can be difficult to predict how each game will end.
In addition to Tatum's record-breaking performance, the game also featured several impressive performances by other captains and their teams. Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid, and Paul George all had strong showings. Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers also put in an impressive effort during the All-Star Game; even though he wasn't initially projected as MVP, his 27 points in the third quarter helped Team Giannis take control of the game.
Antetokounmpo's story is one that inspires and motivates many. He was born in Greece and spent his youth learning the language, attending school, and playing basketball with his family. Despite facing adversity, he eventually rose to become the NBA's highest-paid player and two-time league MVP.
Since being drafted to the NBA in 2013, Antetokounmpo has earned himself a spot on each All-Star Game. This season he's averaging 29.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game for the Milwaukee Bucks - currently third in the Eastern Conference.
He won the Kobe Bryant Trophy, an All-Star Game MVP award named for the Los Angeles Lakers star. His 35 points on 16-of-16 shooting helped Team LeBron claim victory 170-150.
Milwaukee Bucks star Jimmy Butler is now averaging 25.1 points in All-Star Games, tied for the highest mark among active players with Kevin Durant and Kevin Love. Additionally, he's won three dunk battles, including this year's All-Star Game.
While the game was played in Atlanta, it was cut short due to a COVID-19 pandemic that affected most of the league this year. As such, contact tracing was implemented; players were pulled from the game in order to prevent its spread to others.
Antetokounmpo did his best to get his team back on track, scoring 15 of their final 20 points - enough for a win against Team Giannis captain Donovan Mitchell. Additionally, Damian Lillard added 26 points with eight 3-pointers as he helped secure the victory for Antetokounmpo's squad.
On a memorable night for the Greek Freak, who earned his first career All-Star Game MVP honor. He said it was like living a dream come true and is eager to participate in FIBA World Cup Qualifying matches in 2023.
He hopes to represent his country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, serving as an inspiration and motivation to those around him. Most importantly, he wants his children to reach their full potentials and realize their aspirations.