Team LeBron prevailed over Team Giannis 157-155 in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game at the United Center in Chicago under the new Elam Ending format.
The game's MVP award has been permanently renamed the Kia NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award in honor of the five-time champion who died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash.
Team LeBron's Kawhi Leonard became the first winner with a game-high 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field and an 8-of-14 performance from three:
Leonard is also the reigning NBA Finals MVP after leading the Toronto Raptors to their first championship last season. The 28-year-old forward joined the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency last summer, and he looked right at home in Chicago:
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Leonard disclosed a story about Bryant's "Mamba Mentality" and expressed how much the trophy means to him:
Ben Golliver @BenGolliver
Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard on winning the first Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP trophy: “It’s very special. I had a relationship with him. Words can’t explain how happy I am for it. I’m able to put that trophy in my trophy room and see Kobe’s name on there.” https://t.co/qfiGYLamPs
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis clinched victory for Team LeBron with a free throw to hit the target score of 157 and erase the 133-124 deficit faced after the first three quarters.
The target score was decided by adding Team Giannis' 133 points through three quarters to Bryant's retired No. 24 Los Angeles Lakers jersey number. Each player on Team Giannis donned No. 24 while each Team LeBron member wore No. 2 to honor Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who died alongside her father and seven others in the crash.