x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

NBA: Chris Paul named MVP as Western Conference claims third straight All Star win over Eastern rivals

Kevin Durant was top scorer for the second year in a row, but it was the Los Angeles Clippers guard's contribution which would secure another win for the West.

Chicago's Joakim Noah goes up for a shot during the NBA All-Star game.
Chicago's Joakim Noah goes up for a shot during the NBA All-Star game.

Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin provided a potent mix of outside shooting and inside dominance to lift the Western Conference to a 143-138 victory over the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star game

The Oklahoma forward scored 30 points, with Griffin adding another 19 points on nine-of-11 shooting from the floor.

But it was Chris Paul who stole the headlines after being named Most Valuable Player, contributing 20 points and providing 15 assists - including setting up two spectacular slam dunks - as the West took the All Star title for the third consecutive year.

"You just never expect something like this," Paul said afterwards.

"All these great players I have the chance to play with, it's an honour and a privilege."

The Los Angeles Clippers guard joined Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas as the only All-Star Game players to produce at least 20 points and 15 assists in one game.

"To be mentioned with those guys, it's an honour. To be on the court with all these guys I don't get the chance to play with, it's an privilege."

Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks paced the East with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade scored 21 and LeBron James 19.

The West led 69-65 at half-time and had the same margin, 108-104, entering the fourth quarter when a showy game of dunks and flashy moves found intensity.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kyrie Irving pulled the East within 119-118, but Durant had two slam dunks in an 8-2 West run to boost the lead to 127-120.

Anthony sparked a 6-2 East run to pull his side within 129-126 but Paul followed with a 3-pointer and Kobe Bryant played tight defence on James in what became a man-on-man rivalry between playmakers in the final minutes.

Durant, last year's MVP, became the first player to score at least 30 points in three consecutive NBA All-Star Games, and top-scored for the second year in a row.


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