Last night's NBA Rookie Challenge might not have been the best game of pure basketball ever played on an NBA court, but it was one of the more entertaining All-Star Weekend exhibition games in recent memory.
John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Blake Griffin helped carry the Rookie team to a 148-140 victory over the Sophomore team that was led by strong performances from DeJuan Blair and James Harden, who combined to put up 58 points in the loss.
With defense clearly not being at the top of any of the players' minds during the game, there were several points in the action where both squads seemed to just take turns running down the court and finishing off with crowd-pleasing dunks and alley-oops.
This slideshow ranks the top 10 performances from last night's game between the NBA's top first and second-year players.
Notable Stats: 15 Points, 5-10 FG
The Sophomore team needed a lot more offense from Matthews than the 15 points he managed to muster, however, he didn't try to do too much either and kept his number of shots fairly low.
Notable Stats: 14 Points, five Rebounds, 2-2 3PA
Ibaka hit more three-pointers last night, (two) than he has made during the first season-and-a-half of his young career (one).
Notable Stats: 14 Points, eight Rebounds (six Offensively)
Monroe showed everyone why is an up-and-coming star for the Pistons as he fought hard on the glass at both ends of the floor, however, particularly well on the offensive glass.
Notable Stats: 14 Points, 14 Minutes
While Griffin's stay in the game was fairly short-lived, he had some spectacular moments, most notably being on the receiving end of a beautiful bounce-pass alley-oop from John Wall.
Notable Stats: 20 Points, 9-15 FG
Neal was one of the main reasons the Rookies were able to pull away in the closing minutes of the game, as he made three of his nine shots in the final two minutes.
Notable Stats: 25 Points, 10-15 FG
Johnson was playing lights-out when he was on the floor last night, as his team was +14 in scoring differential while he was on the court, which was the highest +/- from last night.
Notable Stats: 30 Points Off Bench
Harden was one of the main reasons the Sophomores were able to keep the score close during most of the game. Playing as a replacement for the injured Tyreke Evans, Harden definitely did his part last night.
Notable Stats: 28 Points, 15 Rebounds
Blair probably wishes every game of his career were a Rookie Challenge, as he posted 23 points and 22 rebounds in the event last season. He followed up with another monster performance this year.
Notable Stats: 33 Points, 14 Rebounds
In the fourth highest-scoring game in Rookie Challenge history, Cousins looked unstoppable during the entire game (possibly because there was no defense). His reunion with former Kentucky teammate was definitely a plus for Cousins during a roller-coaster rookie campaign.
Notable Stats: 12 Points, 22 Assists
Wall smashed Chris Paul's previous Rookie Challenge record of 17 assists en route to winning the MVP for his performance last night. Wall definitely benefited from sharing the floor with Cousins and Griffin and having the ability to hook up with them all night.