02/18 20:16 CST The Latest: Team Stephen takes 42-31 lead vs. Team LeBron
The Latest: Team Stephen takes 42-31 lead vs. Team LeBron
LOS ANGELES (AP) --- The Latest from Sunday's NBA All-Star Game and events
around the league's annual showcase (all times local):
Team Stephen took a 42-31 lead over Team LeBron after the first quarter of the
new-look NBA All-Star Game.
Rather than the traditional East vs. West matchup, the teams were picked by
captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
The players seemed to be giving more effort than in most All-Star Games, but
the play wasn't always better. However, players did seem to be actually playing
Karl Anthony-Towns of Minnesota led Team Stephen with 11 points while Anthony
Davis of New Orleans had six for Team LeBron.
Davis wore the jersey of Pelicans teammate DeMarcus Cousins, who was voted to
start but then suffered a season-ending injury.
First, there were elaborate pregame introductions by Kevin Hart, and then the
Canadian national anthem by the Barenaked Ladies and the American national
anthem by Fergie.
Then it was time for the NBA All-Star Game between Team LeBron and Team Stephen
at Staples Center.
LeBron James has started his 14th straight NBA All-Star Game, breaking a tie
with Bob Cousy for the longest streak in league history. James is one behind
Kobe Bryant for the most overall.
Two intriguing subplots with Team LeBron are that James is teaming up again
with Kyrie Irving, the Boston guard who campaigned to leave James' side in
Cleveland last summer; and Russell Westbrook is once again teammates with Kevin
Durant, who ditched him in Oklahoma City in 2016 to win a championship in
Oakland last year. The final starter on Team LeBron is Anthony Davis of New
James' original roster has been dramatically altered by injuries to DeMarcus
Cousins, John Wall, Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Love, who all won't play.
Stephen Curry is the first player in Golden State history to start five
straight All-Star Games. His fellow starters are James Harden of Houston, DeMar
DeRozan of Toronto, Joel Embiid of Philadelphia and Giannis Antetokounmpo of
The U.S. men's basketball team tuned up for its upcoming World Cup qualifiers
by beating Mexico 88-67 in the NBA G League International Challenge.
The event replaced the traditional G League All-Star Game. The Americans are
using G League players in the World Cup qualifiers, so the game gave them extra
preparation while they continue training for a pair of games later this month.
Aaron Harrison and Xavier Silas each scored 13 points for coach Jeff Van
Gundy's team, which played under the name NBA G League USA.
The Americans are preparing to play Puerto Rico and Cuba in Santa Cruz,
California, home of the Golden State Warriors' G League affiliate. They are 2-0
in qualifying thus far.
Luke Martinez scored 22 points for Mexico.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver doubled down on his support of players speaking
out on social and political issues, opening his comments at the Legends Brunch
by thanking the veterans for setting the tone for current players.
"Bill Russell was recognized before, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I could go down the
list of so many others here who created that tradition for the players in the
NBA, who gave them the safety and comfort to speak out on issues that are
important to them as they do today," Silver said Sunday.
"I'm so proud of that legacy," added the commissioner, who praised the current
players on Saturday . "So thank you to all of the people in this room."
The issue of players publicly speaking out on various issues surfaced during
All-Star weekend after Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized three-time NBA
champion LeBron James for his recent comments. James previously responded with
an Instagram post containing similar sentiments.
During the Legends Brunch, four players were honored: Jerry West, Magic
Johnson, Bill Walton, and James Worthy.
The NBA's All-Star version of a pickup game is taking center stage in Hollywood.
The 67th version of the All-Star Game on Sunday night features teams picked by
captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Dispensing with the usual East vs.
West format, the league is creating a new look to its annual showcase with
teams picked regardless of geography.
That's how Curry and Golden State teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green
will be going against Kevin Durant, and how James will play alongside Oklahoma
City duo Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Boston teammates Kyrie Irving and Al Horford are on opposing teams. Irving is
on the same team as James, several months after Irving broke up their Cleveland
partnership by forcing a trade.
More AP basketball: www.apnews.com/tags/NBAbasketball