The 2014 All-Star game was about Kyrie Irving putting his franchise problems behind and putting on a show. It was about the Eastern conference winning for the first time after three consecutive losses. It was about breaking a whole lot of records along the way.
Irving scored 31 points on 14-of-17 from the field and added 14 assists, leading the East to their first win since the 2010 AS game, beating the West 163-155, actually playing some good defense in the fourth quarter and enjoying Kevin Durant going cold from the outside en route to the win, setting a few marks along the way.
We took this one personal a bit. We wanted this win. They beat us the last three years and they had a lot of bragging rights, so to be able to come through being down 18 was huge.
Kevin Durant was in a mindset of setting a new All-Star scoring record, and his three pointer with 1:59 left gave the West a 155-153 lead. But from that moment they went cold, and the East scored the final 10 points of the game, with LeBron James and Paul George playing some excellent defense. James, George and Anthony closed out the game to get a win that these players have been aching to get.
Anthony had 30 points while hitting 8 three-pointers, setting a new All-Star game mark and was another player to enjoy the escape of his struggling team and awfulness this regular season is offering him. LeBron James finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, Paul George had 18 points and Dwyane Wade didn’t get too much playing time, as planned, finishing with 10 points in 12 minutes of basketball.
For the West, both Durant and Griffin were only four points shy of tying Chamberlain’s 42-point All-Star game record, finishing with 38. Durant was a bad 6-of-17 from beyond the arc, while Blake Griffin, who did attempt a couple of three-pointers himself, finished with 19-of-23 from the field. Stephen Curry, in his first All-Star game, scored 12 points and went very cold from the outside, hitting only 2-of-11 from three. Anthony Davis, the only home player in attendance, scored 10 points in 10 minutes.
So the records broken?
Most combined points (318; previous record was 303 in 1987); Most points by one of the teams, and not even needing overtime to do it. Most combined field goals made with 135, including the most by one team with 70 by the East. The two sides set a new record for three pointers, making 30, and the 16 by the West is another record. The West also set a new record for attempted three-pointers with 56 (a big reason as to why they lost the game), and the combined 100 shots from beyond the arc are a record as well. The 88 assists in total are a new record, and the 19 field goals by Blake Griffin are a record as well. We finish with Anthony hitting 8 from beyond the arc, also a new record.
A couple more days of rest and it’s back to the rat race: The Miami Heat chasing the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder trying to keep a distance between themselves and the rest of the West and many many more. It might also generate some hunger that’s been missing for someone like Kyrie Irving, who has now taken the MVP award but will need to make it matter in the regular season for himself and the Cavs.