NEW ORLEANS: Anthony Davis scored a record 52 points on his home court as the West team continued their domination by outgunning the East 192-182 in the 66th annual NBA All-Star Game.
The New Orleans Pelicans star Davis was named MVP and broke the scoring record of 42 points set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962. He made 26 of 39 shots from the field, eclipsing Blake Griffin’s 2014 record of 19 field goals in an All-Star game.
“I was shocked,” Davis said. “I am just happy I was able to take the MVP home in front of home fans.
“The guys said they were going to give me the ball. They were men of their word.
“It was fun game. I didn’t want anybody to get hurt.”
Defense was non-existent at the Smoothie King Center arena as Davis set the tone with 22 first-half points and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook combined on a couple of playful passing exchanges including one in the opening quarter with former teammate Kevin Durant.
The teams combined for 374 points and it was the second straight year the teams broke the combined record. Last year, the teams set a record of 369 in the West’s 196-173 win.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the league should look at inducements to get the players to try harder.
“I would like to see it more competitive. It’d be good to have incentives for the guys, get charities involved,” Kerr said of the lack of defense.
The East was led by Milwaukee Bucks center Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 28 points, and Cleveland’s LeBron James, making his 13th All-Star start, with 23 points.
Westbrook tallied 41 points as he was reunited for one night with Durant, who is in his first season with the Golden State Warriors after leaving the Thunder.
Halfway through the first quarter, Westbrook and Durant ran across midcourt on either side of the key. Westbrook flicked a pass to Durant on the left side. Durant tossed it right back to Westbrook on a give-and-go that resulted in an easy layup and a 31-28 West lead.
The East led 53-48 after 12 minutes — the 101 combined points was an All-Star Game record for a quarter — and the West took a 97-92 halftime lead.
The 189 first-half points broke the All-Star record of 187 points set in the first half last year with the West leading 104-83.
“We had fun and hopefully we put on a show,” New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said.