HOUSTON (Sporting Alert) — While several television pundits and NBA experts on TNT were spending time focusing on a LeBron James v Kevin Durant and James v Kobe Bryant rivalry, Chris Paul was busy stealing the show at Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.
All eyes were on James and Durant.
And why not?
Their form heading into the East v West All-Star Game was quite impressive, while Bryant was all fired up show his colleagues he still got it.
However, it was point guard Paul, who was making the biggest impression and the Los Angeles Clippers star, who got his teammates involved in almost everyone of his plays, grabbed the NBA All-Star MVP crown after finishing with 20 points, 15 assists and four steals, as the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 143-138.
“In games like this, it’s so up-tempo and fast-paced,” said Paul, who shot 7-for-10 from the field, including 4-for-5 3-pointers,.
“A guy like me, that’s a facilitator, I enjoy (it).”
Last year’s MVP Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder led all scorers with 30 points to go with his six rebounds, while Blake Griffin added 19 points in the win.
“Chris Paul had great passes, (he was) making steals, made big buckets,” Durant said.
“He played a hell of a game. It was a pleasure playing with him.”
Paul added: “You just want to play fast. I like to throw the lob. I like to see guys hit 3s.
“When you’re out on the court with all that firepower, why wouldn’t you want to make passes?
“You’ve got KD (Durant) filling one of the lanes, you’ve got Blake, Kobe (Bryant) on the wing. There’s nothing like it.”
Paul the first LA Clippers player to win the NBA All-Stars MVP and became only the third player to have at least 20 points and 15 assists in such a game.
He now joins point guards Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, two outstanding Hall of Famers.
Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony led the East with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade finished with 21 points and seven assists.
LeBron James ended with 19 points, while reserves Paul George and Kyrie Irving collected 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Kobe Bryant only had nine points, while veteran Kevin Garnett, who said this will be his last All-Star Game, played for just six minutes without scoring from his two attempts.