LeBron James suffered his first loss as a captain in the NBA All-Star Game, when Team Giannis, led by Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, won 184-175 in Salt Lake City.
Antetokounmpo didn’t contribute much, but that was to be expected, as he took the first shot to the rim for the first basket of the game and then retired. He has been dealing with a wrist injury.
But James was also unavailable for much of this game, having suffered a hand injury. James tried to block Toronto Raptors big man Pascal Siakam and his hand got caught in the rim.
With those two gone, 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, going 22-for-31 from the field, including 10-for-18 from three, broke the All-Star 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+ points in a regular season game, a playoff game, and the NBA All-Star Game.
Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers was also a key member of Team Giannis, scoring 40 points on 15-of-25 shooting from the field, with 10 assists and four rebounds. Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers also made eight 3-pointers in the game, including the final basket to give Team Giannis the win. He finished with 26 points.
For Team LeBron, James had 13 points before not playing the entire second half. Their group’s leading scorer was a reserve, as Tatum’s Celtics teammate Jaylen Brown shot 35 on 16-of-27 shooting from the field.
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Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid and Dallas Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving finished with 32 points.
Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, playing in his first All-Star Game, went 4-for-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 points per game, who finished with just four points for Team LeBron.
The regular season will begin its second half on Thursday night.