By Ivan Saldajeno
PASIG--Anthony Davis lit up his battleground, the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, firing a league record 52 points to lift the Western Conference All-Stars to a 192-182 win over their Eastern Conference counterparts in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game on Monday (Philippine Time).
Davis went 26-of-39 from the field, most coming off dunks, to break the old record of 42 set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.
While both teams displayed their perfect offensive touch, the game remained close for most parts until the West pulled away for good midway through the fourth quarter.
From there, the focus shifted to whether the West will shatter its own team record of 196 points set last year and even breach the 200-point mark, especially when late slams from the Pelicans star put the team at 187 with 2:17 left.
But after a James Harden three with 1:48 to go, the West slowed down and settled for 192.
Davis' record-setting performance earned him All-Star Game MVP honor, becoming the 14th player to win it at his club's homecourt.
Russell Westbrook added 41 points in three quarters, but his main highlight was an alley-oop dunk off a Kevin Durant assist, a sign that their "cold war" that stemmed from the latter's decision to leave Oklahoma City for Golden State has already been resolved.
Durant would come up with a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists with two steals.
DeMarcus Cousins, who is the central figure of latest NBA trade rumors, only played for two minutes and chipped in three points for the West.
Giannis Antetokounmpo made the most out of his NBA All-Star debut, leading the East with 30 points that included a follow-up posterizer against Steph Curry.
Meanwhile, some Filipino NBA fans and members of the media were given a treat as Basketball TV, the main TV broadcaster of the NBA in the Philippines, hosted a live viewing party at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant at Capitol Commons.
Former NBA star Kevin Martin was the special guest of the event, which capped off the NBA All-Star Festival that saw him also participating in the other itineraries of the weekend-long festivities.
"It's great. You guys welcomed me with open arms. We're very blessed with opportunities to be able to come here, see the joy, and be part of the All-Star Festival Weekend," said Martin.
West 192-Davis 52, Westbrook 41, Curry 21, Durant 21, Harden 12, Thompson 12, Gasol 10, Hayward 8, Jordan 6, Leonard 4, Cousins 3, Green 2
East 182-Antetokounmpo 30, James 23, Irving 22, Thomas 20, Lowry 19, DeRozan 16, Wall 12, Anthony 10, Walker 7, Butler 6, Millsap 5
Quarterscores: 48-53, 97-92, 144-139, 192-182
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