NBA All-Star Game 2013: Highlights from 143-138 Western Conference Victory

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NBA All-Star Game 2013: Highlights from 143-138 Western Conference Victory
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprisingly competitive NBA All-Star Game, the Western Conference defeated the East by a score of 143-138. Chris Paul led the way with 20 points, 15 assists and four steals.

So, how did it all go down as the West won their third consecutive All-Star Game?

The first quarter ended up being the deciding one, as the West outscored the East by a margin of 31-26. Blake Griffin opened up with his usual high-flying antics, while Russell Westbrook closed the quarter out strong.

For perspective as to how important the first was, during the final three quarters, the teams combined for a score of 112-112.

From Chris Paul and Tony Parker going between Chris Bosh's legs—over and over again—to Dwyane Wade slicing and dicing the West's defense, we saw it all. Neither team gave an inch, and both played more physically than expected.

That includes an inadvertent elbow from Joakim Noah to CP3.

With Kyrie Irving and D-Wade leading the charge, the Eastern Conference managed to make things interesting entering the half. The third quarter was no different, as both sides went back-and-forth with every basket.

Most notably, Kevin Durant seemed to put up a shot on every possession following an attempt by LeBron James. The rivalry is strong.

For what it's worth, Durant finished with 30 points on 13-of-24 shooting—LeBron had 19 on 7-of-18 shooting.

In the fourth quarter, the West stepped up late on defense. More specifically, two superstars went at it with the legend out-dueling today's leader.

Kobe Bryant swatted LeBron twice—twice—with one coming on a jump shot and the other ending up out of bounds.

Paul and Griffin combined for 14 of the West's final 18 points. This led the Western Conference to their third consecutive victory.

So, who deserves mention?

For the East, Dwyane Wade picked up 21 points and seven assists on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. Carmelo Anthony added 26 points and 12 rebounds to round out a solid night from the stars of the East.

As for the young guns, Paul George dropped in 17 points and Kyrie Irving added 15. First-time All-Star Joakim Noah pitched in eight points and 10 rebounds.

The West was no less impressive.

Blake Griffin tallied 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting and Kobe Bryant picked up nine points, eight assists, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Even still, they weren't the most impressive Los Angeles players in Houston.

We'll get to that in a second.

James Harden put up 15 points, while Russell Westbrook had 14 and Tony Parker dropped in 13. Dwight Howard added nine, but his most impressive basket came when it didn't count.

A half-court hook shot.

A fun night indeed. The question on everyone's mind, however, is who was the best of the best?

Who won MVP honors?

 

All-Star Game MVP: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul was absolutely tremendous from start to finish. From both a statistical and fundamental perspective, Paul entertained the fans and dominated this game as if he wasn't the shortest player on the floor.

CP3 finished with 20 points, 15 assists and four steals on 7-of-10 shooting. The NBA rewarded him with some hardware.

Paul became the first point guard since Allen Iverson in 2005 to win the All-Star Game MVP award.

All in all, this was nothing short of a memorable night in the NBA. The stars were out in full force, and they put on an incredible show for the fans in attendance and the millions watching at home.

Until the NBA Finals roll around, it's the Western Conference that reigns supreme.

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