SB Nation Cleveland
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @SBNCleveland
Like us to subscribe
The Western Conference won another All-Star game, this time in Orlando after almost letting a big lead slip away. Russell Westbrook had 21 points as the West won 152-149 Sunday night. Kevin Durant earned MVP honors with 36 points for the West.
The Eastern Conference trailed by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter, but thanks to Lebron James and Dwyane Wade the East was able to get as close as a single point on two Wade free throws with 22 seconds left. Kobe Bryant then missed the second of two free throws to put the West in front only 151-149 with 18 seconds left.
That gave the East a chance to tie or take the lead, but Deron Williams missed a three-pointer and James threw the ball away with a second left after Williams rebounded his miss. Wade missed a three at the buzzer after Blake Griffin hit a final free throw.
James led the East with 36 points, but his turnover with just over a second left all but sealed the game for the West.
The Western Conference All-Stars blitzed the East for 49 points in the second quarter of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. That allowed them to cruise to an 88-69 lead int he annual event, and the west appears to be headed for a record scoring total so far.
The Western Conference scored a record 155 points in the 2003 All-Star Game, but that took two overtime. Twice in regulation (1987 and 1984) a team reached 154 points, but those games also went to overtime. Kevin Durant leads the West with 21 points, while Dwyane Wade has 14 to lead the East.
None of the current players for the Cavaliers are playing on the Eastern Conference roster this year, but former Cav Lebron James has scored 13 points and has dished out three assists. Russell Westbrook has also scored 17 points for the West, which has been cruising so far with little signs of slowing on offense.
Kyrie Irving couldn't duplicate his MVP performance in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, finishing the course in nearly 43 seconds, the slowest score of all participants, which eliminated him from the competition following the first round.
After a playoff between Rajon Rondo and John Wall, Rondo, Deron Williams and Tony Parker advanced to the final round. Parker won the event, completing the course in under 33 seconds. Rondo, an injury replacement for reigning champion Stephen Curry, finished second, despite posting the fastest time in his playoff with Wall.
Irving scored 34 points and added nine assists, while connecting on all eight of his three-pointers in Friday night's Rising Stars Challenge. He played on Charles Barkley's team, which won 146-133 over Shaquille O'Neal's squad.
The 2012 NBA All-Star festivities are well under way, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have had solid representation thus far. Kyrie Irving won the MVP in the Rising Stars Challenge, and will try and shine again on Saturday night for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Irving had a whopping 34 points for the Rising Stars challenge, while teammate Tristan Thompson helped the two combine for a total of 22-for-24 shooting. That's up there.
Now, Irving will compete against Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets in the skills competition. Stephen Curry is injured and won't be able to defend his title that he won last year, so Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics will take his place.
For the skills competition, the players will compete in a two-round timed obstacle course of sorts. They'll have to observe all normal NBA ball-handling rules as they go through stations for dribbling, passing and shooting. There's plenty of coverage for all of the activities at SB Nation, and be sure to tune in for the event at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving won the Most Valuable Player award in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night by scoring a game-high 34 points on 12-for-13 shooting (8-for-8 from beyond the arc!) and dishing out nine dimes in Team Chuck's 146-133 win over Team Shaq.
In Irving's 27-plus minutes, he didn't provide any real remarkable highlight plays, but he was more than sizzling with his shot, as he did not miss any from downtown. Paul George was the next highest scorer for Team Chuck with 23 points.
Irving's teammate on the Cavs, Tristan Thompson, was the leading scorer on the other side for Team Shaq. Thompson scored 20 points on 10-for-11 shooting. Yes, that means that the Cavaliers' representatives in this game were a combined 22-for-24 shooting. That's a bright future.
At the half, Team Chuck is up on Team Shaq by 12, 77-65. Team Chuck shot 69-percent in the first half and a large reason for that was Cleveland Cavaliers rookie point guard Kyrie Irving.
Irving scored 18 points in the first half on 7-for-8 shooting (4-for-4 from beyond the arc) and is currently the game's leading scorer. As a result, he is the early favorite to take home the Most Valuable Player award if the score holds up. Irving also had three assists and two steals.
Irving was not the only hot-shooting representative of the Cavaliers, though. Irving's teammate Tristan Thompson, who is on the opposing Team Shaq for this game, is 5-for-5 with a Team Shaq best 10 points.
NBA All-Star Weekend kicks off Friday night with the 2012 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Orange County Convention Center. The game will be televised on ESPN with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. EST.
Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic will coach the Eastern squad, while Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder will coach the Western team. Here are the official participants, via a press release from the NBA:
This year's players include celebrities from film, TV and music and will feature Grammy ® Award-winner Ne-Yo(R&B/pop); 2012 Grammy® nominee J. Cole (Rapper), Common (Just Wright); JB Smoove ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"); Vinny Guadagnino ("Jersey Shore"); Kevin Hart (Laugh At My Pain); Javier Colon ("The Voice"); Drew and Jonathan Scott ("Property Brothers"); Jesse Williams ("Grey's Anatomy"); NBA Legends Mitch Richmond (six-time NBA All-Star), Penny Hardaway (four-time NBA All-Star), and Nick Anderson (NBA legend); 2011 WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings (WNBA, Indiana Fever); and Doug Gottlieb (ESPN, "The Doug Gottlieb Show").
The NBA announced Monday that Cleveland Cavaliers rookie guard Kyrie Irving will participate in the 2012 Taco Bell Skills Challenge as part of NBA All-Star Saturday night, which begins at 7 p.m. on TNT.
The Skills Challenge is a timed obstacle-course that tests the dribbling, passing and shooting ability of its participants. Irving's competitors in the event include defending champion Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets.
Irving is also a member of Team CHUCK in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 24. The game consists of the best rookies and second-year players in the league, divided into teams selected by former NBA stars and TNT commentators, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal. Irving's teammate and fellow rookie Tristan Thompson will play for Team SHAQ.
Irving, the No.1 overall pick in last summer's NBA Draft, leads all rookies in scoring at 18.3 points per game, while also ranking second in assists with 4.8 per game.
Kyrie Irving is probably close to leading in the race for the Rookie of the Year, but the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard was left off the 2012 NBA All-Star rosters. The reserves were named on Thursday and, unfortunately for the Cleveland faithful, the top draft pick was left off the team.
Cleveland, currently sporting a 10-14 record, has been led by Irving all season as he's racked up 18 points, 5.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds while starting every game he's played in this season. The rookie is currently sidelined with a concussion, however, and missed the Cavs' last game.
Irving wasn't too far out of the voting totals when the NBA released preliminary totals earlier in the year, but he apparently wasn't impressive enough to convince the coaching staffs around the league that he deserved a spot on the roster.