On Sunday night, it was clear that message reached the superstar as Anthony was on fire from the game's start.
Melo scored easily by driving the lane and grabbing offensive rebounds for put-backs. And during a scoring run in the first quarter, Anthony sank a three-pointer and finished the first quarter with 13 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
Melo didn’t get back into the game until there were five minutes left in the half, but he managed to put in two more buckets, two layups. At halftime Anthony was the leading scorer with 17 points, six more than James, to go along with with eight rebounds and two dimes.
At the half, Anthony was interviewed by TNT’s Craig Sager and told him, “It looks easy; it’s not easy. We put a lot of work into our craft. We’re out here having fun. We want to win, the West wants to win. I hate losing.”
In the second half, the West was down 76-69 to start, and Melo kept playing hard in the third quarter. He scored on another layup and another on an alley-oop dunk.
Melo got his double-double on a put-back dunk with three minutes to go in the game. He was at 27 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists at that point. But the East was still leading, and LeBron and Wade were both pushing for MVP honors as well.
As the game came down the stretch, Melo got the final shot to win the game, but it was a leaning three pointer that missed short off the front rim. With the made shot, Anthony would have definitely been the MVP of the All Star game, but it wasn’t to be. Still, Melo really performed well, and he was easily the best on the West.
The East won the game 141-139, and Dwayne Wade with his 28 points and 11 assists, won the MVP. And while the outcome was disappointing for Western fans, it was the best All Star game in recent memory without a doubt.
While Melo was the West’s MVP, Chauncey Billups performed up to an All Star level as well. He went five-for-eight from downtown, with five assists and a steal. Five of his 17 points were huge for the West as Mr. Big Shot lived up to his nickname once again. Billups hit a three from the wing to keep the Western Conference down only four points before hitting the game-tying bucket with only one minute to go in the game.
In all, the Nuggets duo attributed for 44 of the West’s 139 points, almost a third in total, certainly making a huge impact on the game.
Both George Karl and Nuggets fans should be bursting with pride over the two as Denver gets back into their regular season Thursday night against LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
All Star Game Notes: The crowd of 108,713 at Cowboys Stadium was the largest to ever view a basketball game in the world. But there was another World Record set during the weekend in Dallas as Dwight Howard made a miraculous shot. During the East’s practice on Friday, Howard sank an unbelievable three-quarter court shot, while sitting down! Guinness was in attendance, and the young center posed for a picture and accepted his award right on the court.
Denver Nuggets Featured Columnist Rich Kurtzman wants to hear from you, the fan! Rich wants to know, what developing story do you want to hear about? What player would you like to know more about? Know an aspect of the Nuggets that Rich hasn’t touched on yet? Ask away! Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Denver Nuggets Mailbag” in the subject line. Rich will answer the questions in a weekly or bi-weekly piece. Look forward to hearing from you all!