Loveland Reporter-Herald

Tatum scores All-star record 55 to lead Team Giannis win

- By Tim Reynolds

SALT LAKE CITY >> Jayson Tatum put on a recordsett­ing show, and made Giannis Antetokoun­mpo look like a genius.

Tatum scored an Allstar Game-record 55 points, and Team Giannis ended Lebron James’ hold on All-star captain supremacy by beating Team Lebron 184-176 in the NBA’S annual showcase exhibition on Sunday night.

Tatum had 27 points in the third quarter, another All-star Game record for any period. He was the first pick by Antetokoun­mpo in the starters’ portion of the All-star draft, and in the end, that pick proved to be the right one.

It was James’ first loss in six times as captain. Antetokoun­mpo improved to 1-2 in his All-star captaincie­s.

Donovan Mitchell added 40 for Team Giannis, which got 26 points from Damian Lillard — including the game-winner to push his team past the target score.

Jaylen Brown scored 35 points and had 14 rebounds for Team Lebron, while Kyrie Irving had 32 points and 15 assists and Joel Embiid finished with 32 points.

Lillard, the winner of the 3-point contest on Allstar Saturday Night, made eight 3s — including a halfcourt pullup in the third quarter.

The league had a ceremony before the second half to pay tribute to the three leading scorers in NBA history: No. 3 Karl Malone, No. 2 Kareem Abdul-jabbar and James, now the game’s career leader after he passed Abdul-jabbar earlier this month.

Malone and Abdul-jabbar were brought to the stage, and then Dwyane Wade — James’ former teammate in Miami and now a part-owner of the Jazz — introduced James to bring him onto the platform.

“We’ve all been witnesses,” Wade said. “No matter the challenge, no matter the noise, he was relentless.”

With the number 38,388 displayed behind him, James then raised his hand to thank the fans for their ovation, hugged Abdul-jabbar and Malone. He didn’t return to the game, his night ending with a right hand contusion.

He finished with 13 points, and said a chasedown block in the first half led to him getting a finger caught in the rim.

“Precaution­ary reasons,” James said.

James played a half. The game’s other captain didn’t play a half-minute.

Antetokoum­po drafted his team before the game, went through warmups (such as they were) and started the game as planned.

But his right wrist was wrapped, and that was an ominous sign. The injury kept him out of All-star Saturday’s skills event, limited him to 20 seconds in this one. He got an unconteste­d dunk to open the game, then took a foul and headed to the bench.

“Whatever I have, I’m going to give,” Antetokoun­mpo said. “That’s who I am. That’s never going to change.”

As in past years, the teams played for charity, with Team Lebron raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah and Team Giannis for Raise the Future, which connects youth waiting in foster care with stable adults. Each team started with $150,000, with the first three quarters worth another $100,000 apiece and the All-star Game winner getting another $150,000.

The teams were tied at 46-46 in the first quarter, and Team Giannis took the second quarter 53-46. Team Giannis also won the third quarter 59-49, and the cumulative score to that point — 158-141, Team Giannis — meant 182 would be the score to reach in the untimed fourth quarter with a target-score ending.

Team Giannis won $700,000 for its charity, and Team Lebron won $200,000.


Team Giannis: Antetokoun­mpo’s two points kept him the all-time All-star scoring average leader. He’s now averaging 25.1 points in All-star Games, just ahead of Kevin Durant (25.0). Without that basket, he’d average 24.9. ... Jrue Holiday took Antetokoun­mpo’s spot in the starting lineup for the second half.

Team Lebron: Denver’s Nikola Jokic, the two-time reigning MVP, became the first player to start an Allstar Game on his birthday; he turned 28 on Sunday. The only other player to appear in an All-star Game on his birthday, the NBA said, was Larry Nance Sr. in 1989 . ... Halftime lasted 42 minutes. ... Paul George started in place of James for the second half.

 ?? ROB GRAY — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Team Giannis forward Jayson Tatum drives during the NBA All-star game Sunday in Salt Lake City.
ROB GRAY — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Team Giannis forward Jayson Tatum drives during the NBA All-star game Sunday in Salt Lake City.

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