NBA All Star Saturday night is underway, and the Skills Challenge is the first event on the slate.
The Los Angeles Lakers were supposed to have a competitor in the dunk contest, but they traded Larry Nance Jr.to the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 8. He was the MVP of this game a year ago, scoring 36 points and dishing out 11 dimes.
However, it was all Team World in the first half as they led 78-59 at the break.
Peyton Manning Reportedly Being Pursued as NFL Analyst by Fox, ESPN
As he has told all the networks annually, he did not want to become a broadcaster at that time. Of course, Manning ultimately made a great decision and chose to sign with Denver.
"I approach every single game the same way, try to compete, to be the best version of myself that day", a smiling Bogdanovic said after the game. But they got a surprise, too, symbolic of the league's evolution toward the three-pointer: An off-the-radar Serbian who got hot early and stayed hot, making seven of 13 three-point shots - including one that came from Stephen Curry range - for 26 points. "Unfortunately, our shots didn't fall". Buddy Hield (29 points) and Jamal Murray (21 points) also helped lead Team World in its blowout victory.
Murray started the game and had 7 points at the half going 3/7 from the field with two rebounds, two assists and a steal but the second half is where he started to feel it and made his case for being named MVP for the second straight year.
Olympic silver-medal winning sprinter Andre De Grasse added 17 and former New Jersey Nets guard Brandon Armstrong 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds for Team Clippers.
As we watched Friday morning's practice sessions at the Los Angeles Convention Center, it quickly became clear that Team World was chock full of dudes both very eager to, and very capable of, shooting the lights out from long distance.
The Team Lakers roster included singer Justin Bieber, who scored four points, Basketball Hall of Fame member Tracy McGrady, who scored three, actor Michael B. Jordan, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Los Angeles Sparks forward-center Candace Parker, who were all scoreless. Paul Pierce had 4 points on 2/3 shooting and 1 rebound.