NBA All Star Game 2015 – West 163 East 158

And, yet, another scoring record for the NBA All Star Game held at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, Sunday, February 14, 2015, with the West outlasting the East 163-158, for a total of 321 points, beating the 2014 outing of 318 points. The teams combined to make 48 3-pointers, obliterating the previous high of 30, a record which was also set last year.

Eventual All Star Game MVP Russell Westbrook had a hot hand (shooting 16-for-28, 5-for-9 beyond the arc) and his 41 points was just one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time All Star game scoring mark of 42, set over five decades ago in 1962. Westbrook (Oklahoma City) joins Chamberlain (Philadelphia Warriors) and Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls), who dropped 40 in 1988, as the only players to ever top the 40-mark during the mid-season classic.

Russell Westbrook
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

It should be noted that Chamberlain set his mark in 37 minutes of play, while Westbrook was in the game for only 25 minutes. The OKC guard did set a record for points scored in a half, with his 27 topping the previous high, 24, accomplished by Glen Rice (Charlotte Hornets) in 1997 and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) in 2014.

There was another, different, mark achieved Sunday as the Gasol brothers, Pau (Chicago Bulls) and Marc (Memphis Grizzlies), became the first siblings to start in the annual best-of-the-league series. They even faced off for the opening tip, which was won by older brother, Pau, for the East.

LeBron James
Bob Donnan – USA TODAY Sports

Had the East been able to pull out the victory, the game being tied at 148 with four minutes to play, it is likely Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James might have taken the MVP trophy home, scoring 30 points on 11-for-21 shooting, though only 4-for-12 from long distance, while grabbing five boards and adding seven assists.

In a game that is totally driven by offense, with very little defense being played, the West players shot 65-133 (48.9%), with 25-65 (38.5%) from 3-point-land, and the East was 65-130 (50%), but only 23-68 (33.8%) beyond the arc. Other players who put on a show were James Harden (Houston Rockets) with 29 points (firing 11-for-16 overall, 7-12 from 3-point) with eight boards and eight assists, and Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks) with 21 points, all from long-range, where he was 7-for12.

Reserve West guard Chis Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) had a game high 15 assists while Pau Gasol led both squads with 12 rebounds, beating brother Marc, who was second highest with 10.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Men’s Basketball Olympic Gold – Team USA

It may not have been the prettiest game.

There was, however, a lot of heart, on both sides.

Spain challenged Team USA with their big men, the Gasol brothers (Pau and Marc) and Serge Ibaka and a great supporting cast.

However, it was not enough, as they lost to the US 107-100.

People did not think it would be this close. However, when you are dealing with NBA All Stars, and similar caliber players, there is a lot of pride in winning. And that pride can drive players to perform incredibly well.

Team USA, led by LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, with assistance from all areas of the floor, captured their second straight Olympic Gold medal.

When the buzzer sounded, when the clock hit 0.0, Team USA started celebrating. They had not done so after any earlier game, as some teams did, as they knew this was the only game that mattered…the only one worth celebrating.

It was great to see the team acknowledge 76ers coach Doug Collins following their on-court flurry of cheers and laughs.

Another touching moment was seeing Kobe and Pau with a big hug, LA Laker teammates who battled against this summer but will join Dwight Howard and Steve Nash this fall in an NBA title run.

The final game televised interview was with LeBron, Kevin and Kobe, the top three scorers on the team, as well as the top three in the 2011-2012 NBA season.

To all the players on all the teams, very well done. Unfortunately, in Olympic competition there is only one winner – one Gold medal.

For London 2012 that is Team USA. Congratulations.

Coach K is a winner. And he leads winners. A great job by a great coach.

Guards: Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, James Harden.
Forwards: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Andre Iguodala, Anthony Davis
Center: Tyson Chandler

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Team USA Basketball Shatters Records

It was an absolute shooting spectacle to behold.

On Thursday, August 2, 2012, Team USA shot a blistering 71% from all points of the court to throttle Nigeria, 156-73, and set several team and individual Olympic and US records that may well stand for years to come.

The first one set was at half-time, where Team USA had run up an Olympic record 78 points, 49 of which came in the first quarter, led by All Star Kobe Bryant with 14 of his 16 points.

Carmelo Anthony beat the individual Olympic scoring mark with 37 points, by hitting 13 of 16 shots (81%), in just over 14 minutes of action, with 10 of 12 (83%) launched behind the arc.

Photo By MIKE SEGAR/Reuters

The 156 total stripped the high-point title from Brazil, set in their 1988 victory over Egypt, when they had scored 138. The previous high by a US team was by the Dream team, in 1992, when they scored 127, twice.

As well, the high score was set without LeBron James or Kobe Bryant playing in the 2nd half (and only 10:43 total each in the 1st half), and Melo being yanked from the 3rd quarter, after he dropped his 10th 3-pointer, and only 14:29 total playing time.

The honor of hitting the shot that beat Brazil’s record fell to Andre Iguodala, who nailed a 3-pointer with 4:37 left in the game.

There were US records set as well, by the 2012 team: 3-pointers made (26), field goals made (59) and field goal percentage (71%), as well as margin of victory, winning by 83 points.

The Thursday night performance by team USA has been callled, among other things, a shooting clinic. It was definitely that, and more.

Russell Westbrook scored 21 points on 8 shots, while Kevin Durant snagged 14 and Kevin Love 15 on 9 shots each and Deron Williams took 6 shots for his 13 points. Meanwhile, #1 NBA draft pick, Anthony Davis went 4 for 4 coming up with 9 points.

As the Black Mamba said, “When we get hot, it’s a big problem.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

Congrats to Team USA and, especially, to Melo.

Over For Now.

Main Street One