Kobe Bryant surpassed Michael Jordan as the leading scorer in National Basketball Association All-Star Game history while helping the Western Conference hold on for a 152-149 victory over the East.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ guard, making his 13th All-Star appearance, scored 27 points last night at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. He went past Jordan’s mark of 262 All-Star points with a breakaway dunk during the third quarter and pushed his career total to 271.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder scored a team-high 36 points for the West, which withstood the East’s fourth-quarter rally led by LeBron James, who also scored 36 points.
“This is a dream come true,” Durant said after receiving the Most Valuable Player trophy. “These guys behind me were trying to feed me the ball and I was having a lot of fun. I’m glad I’m taking this back to Oklahoma City.”
The East trailed by as much as 21 points before pulling within one in the closing seconds with a 31-12 scoring run.
Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets then missed a 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds left and the Miami Heat’s James threw a pass away with 1.9 seconds remaining as the West pulled out the win.
“It’s nerve wracking with all these great players who can make so many big shots,” said Durant, who hit 14 of 25 shots. “I’m glad we came out on top.”
Members of the winning team receive $35,000, while those on the losing squad get $15,000 each.
West’s Quick Start
Bryant opened the game with a 17-foot jump shot and Durant followed with a 3-pointer as the Western Conference opened an early 7-0 lead and never trailed. The West extended its advantage to 90-69 early in the third quarter and still led by 20 points with nine minutes remaining.
James, who tied an All-Star Game record with six 3-pointers, had eight points in the fourth quarter as the East fought back before falling short.
Durant’s Oklahoma City teammate, Russell Westbrook, finished with 21 points for the West while Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers had 22. Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves added 17 points and Clippers point guard Chris Paul had a team-leading 12 assists.
Dwyane Wade of the Heat finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the East, becoming the third player in All-Star history to record a triple-double after James and Jordan.
Williams added 20 points and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks had 19 and nine rebounds. Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, who has been the subject of trade talks, totaled nine points and 10 rebounds in his home arena.
The Eastern Conference leads the all-time series 36-25.