LeBron James suffered his first loss as a captain at the NBA All-Star Game, as Team Giannis, headed by Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, won 184-175 in Salt Lake City.
Antetokounmpo didn’t contribute much, but that was expected as he took the opening tip to the hoop for the first basket of the game and then checked out. He’s been dealing with a wrist injury.
But James also wasn’t available for much of this game, as he suffered a hand injury. James went for a block on Toronto Raptors’ big man Pascal Siakam and got his hand caught on the rim.
With those two out, someone had to step up and be the star of the night, and Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics was that man.
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Tatum won the All-Star Game MVP Award after dropping an impressive 55 points to help Team Giannis secure the victory.
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Tatum’s 55, coming on 22 of 31 from the field, including 10 of 18 from three, broke the All-Star Game record for points scored. Anthony Davis set the record with 52 in 2017 while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans.
And here’s another fun stat: Tatum is the first player in NBA history to score 50-plus points in a regular-season game, a playoff game and the NBA All-Star Game.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell was also a key member of Team Giannis, tallying 40 points on 15 of 25 from the field, with 10 assists and four rebounds. Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard also knocked down eight threes in the game, including the final basket to give Team Giannis the victory. He finished with 26 points.
For Team LeBron, James had 13 points before not playing the entire second half. The leading scorer for his group was a reserve, as Jaylen Brown, Tatum’s Celtics teammate, dropped 35 on 16 of 27 from the field.
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Philadelphia 76ers’ big man Joel Embiid and Dallas Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving both finished with 32 points.
Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, playing in his first All-Star Game, went 4 of 6 from three to finish with 18 points on the night.
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One surprise was Mavericks star Luka Doncic, the NBA’s current leading scorer at 33.3 ppg, finishing with just four points for Team LeBron.
The regular season will begin its second half on Thursday night.