A night after an incredibly weak NBA dunk contest disappointed all of Western civilization, two Chris Bosh free throws with 5.0 seconds remaining gave the Eastern Conference All-Stars a 141-139 victory. A record crowd of 108,713 fans watched the game, held in the new Cowboys Stadium.
Kobe Bryant called the NBA All-Star game the greatest pick-up game in the world. But a pick-up game doesn’t have refs, and the refs tonight marred what otherwise would have been a great game with three late foul calls that allowed the game to be decided at the foul line. The foul committed on Bosh was the third straight possession that ended with free throws. (Note: Another reason I would argue it isn’t the best pick-up game in the world? Zach Randolph played.)
A day after Demar Derozan and Nate Robinson highlighted perhaps the worst dunk contest since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard reminded spectators how much better the dunk contest would be if the league’s top stars would participate. Each had several rim-shattering, gravity-defying dunks. David Stern, if you know what you’re doing you will up the ante with a higher prize for the contest’s winner, to entice the stars to return the contest to respectability.
Wade, the game’s MVP, finished with 28 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Carmelo Anthony led the West with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Celtics in the game
- Kevin Garnett started both halves, but played sparingly. He ended with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists, while showing on one of the game’s greatest stages that the league’s brightest stars have passed him by.
- Rajon Rondo played just over 19 minutes, including most of the crunch-time minutes. He finished with 4 points and 5 assists.
- Paul Pierce scored 8 points. The self-proclaimed “one of the greatest shooters in NBA history” made two of the three three-pointers he attempted.