Chris Paul and Kevin Durant led the Western Conference to a 143-138 victory over the East in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game, the conference's third consecutive win.
Like every February exhibition, the game was heavy on points, threes and dunks, but light on defense, grit and hustle. Though everyone got minutes, and all but Kevin Garnett and LaMarcus Aldridge scored points, a few members did stand out from the pack.
Chris Paul won MVP honors with 20 points, 15 assists and four steals. He dictated the tempo from start to finish, probing the East's porous defense at will and setting up his teammates ad nauseam.
Speaking of which, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin had pretty memorable nights as well. Durant led all scorers with 30 points, while Griffin shot 9-of-11, mostly dunks, en route to 19 himself.
Things got a little interesting toward the end, when the score was relatively close and Kobe Bryant decided to up his intensity against LeBron James. The Mamba swatted a couple of the King's shots in the fourth, working like it was the end of an NBA Finals game, not an exhibition. But it was all in good fun.
The West's current three-game winning streak is the longest for either conference since 2002-04.
Player of the Game: PG Chris Paul, Western Conference
On a night where the game's stars shone bright, one man stood out from the pack.
With 20 points and 15 assists, Chris Paul became the first Los Angeles Clipper to ever win the MVP award. Depending on how you classify Allen Iverson, he also became the first point guard to win since John Stockton and Karl Malone shared it in 1993.
Paul spent a long nine-game stretch on the bench in late January and early February. His team, brilliant with him in the lineup this season, didn't fare too well in his absence, either.
Los Angeles desperately needed a sign that Chris Paul was still Chris Paul. And Sunday night's performance was just what the doctor ordered.