UPDATES WITH SKILLS CHALLENGE, 3-POINT CONTEST AND SLAM DUNK CONTEST WINNERS
By Emre Asikci
ISTANBUL (AA) - The NBA managed to organize its 2021 All-Star game in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday night in a single-day format despite the pandemic, where the crowd was absent, crowd noises were virtual and no celebrities were sitting on the courtside.
However, the stars showcased their skills one more time as Team LeBron managed to win 170-150.
LeBron's team was able to boast a 20-point lead in the second quarter and never looked back as two-time reigning regular-season MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was selected as the 2021 All-Star MVP.
LeBron James is now 4-0 against his opponents in All-Star, where since 2018, top-vote getters from each conference picked their teams on the All-Star select pool.
He defeated Curry's team in 2018, Giannis' teams in 2019 and 2020, and now Durant's team.
Team LeBron starters were Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), and Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets).
Starters taking the court for Team Durant are Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics).
Team LeBron reserves are Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers), and Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz).
Team Durant reserves boast James Harden (Brooklyn Nets), Mike Conley (Utah Jazz), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), Julius Randle (New York Knicks), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic), and Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz).
Philadelphia 76ers' star duo Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons missed the 2021 All-Star Game after contacting a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
- Skills Challenge, 3-point and Slam Dunk Content winners
The Pacers' Lithuanian forward Sabonis won the skills challenge contest over Magic's Montenegrin center Nikola Vucevic.
"By defeating fellow big man Nikola Vucevic in the final round, Indiana Pacers All-Star Domantas Sabonis won the 2021 competition and joined Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and Bam Adebayo as big-men skills champs," NBA said on its website.
The Warriors' guard Curry was crowned 3-Point Contest, racking up 31 points in the contest.
"Stephen Curry's second victory in the contest makes him just the seventh player to win multiple times (2015, 2021)," NBA added.
The Blazers' guard Anfernee Simons won the slam dunk contest.
Simons made history at halftime of the game, becoming the first Portland Trail Blazer to get the AT&T Slam Dunk.
The 21-year-old bagged the trophy, beating Knicks' rookie Obi Toppin in the finals of the competition.