Team LeBron wins close fought NBA All-Star Game over Team Giannis

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports - Duration: 01:36s - Published
Team LeBron wins close fought NBA All-Star Game over Team Giannis

Team LeBron wins close fought NBA All-Star Game over Team Giannis

Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant MVP award as Team LeBron downs Team Giannis 157-155 in close fought NBA All-Star Game



(SOUNDBITE)(English) CAPTAIN LEBRON JAMES AFTER BEING ASKED ABOUT THE INTENSITY OF THE GAME, SAYING: "I didn't know what to expect, it was a new format, a new year, we didn't know, none of us knew what to expect, but throughout the fourth quarter and at the end of the game everybody was like that was pretty damn fun, that was fun." 3.


(SOUNDBITE)(English) KAWHI LEONARD AFTER BEING ASKED WHAT IT MEANS TO HIM TO WIN THE KOBE BRYANT ALL-STAR MVP AWARD, SAYING: "It's very special, like I said...I had a relationship with him, you know and, words can't explain how happy I am for it.

You know to be able to put that trophy, in my room, in my trophy room, and just be able to see Kobe's name on there, it just means a lot to me.

He was a big inspiration in my life, you know he did a lot for me." 5.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) CAPTAIN LEBRON JAMES AFTER BEING ASKED ABOUT HONORING KOBE BRYANT DURING ALL-STAR GAME, SAYING: "But you could definitely feel Bean's (Kobe's middle name) presence, just from the start, from every moment, from the fans chanting his name to you see his numbers, every time you see Giannis team on the floor you see the 24 so you know he was definitely here." 6.


(SOUNDBITE)(English) CAPTAIN GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO SAYING: "My brother came down and he said this has been the most fun All-Star he's been part of, and I asked him why, and he told me because you guys was really competitive, you guys were playing to win, and you know, Team Giannis, that's what we were trying to do, we tried to come out and set the tone, play hard, especially in the fourth quarter, you know the difference got tighter, guys were hitting one another, every possession count, it was kind of you had a little bit of playoff intensity out there so, I loved it, so I hope they can keep the same format for a lot of years and I think people had fun, we had fun so that's what it's all about." STORY: Team LeBron beat Team Giannis by two points at the 69th NBA All-Star game on Sunday (February 16) at a packed United Center that fell silent for eight seconds before tip-off as about 21,000 fans joined hands to pay their respects to global sports icon Kobe Bryant.

The silence was broken by a string of thunderous "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe," chants that rocked the stadium as the crowd honored Bryant, who wore the No.

8 and No.

24 during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers that was highlighted by five National Basketball Association championships.

The stirring pre-game tribute began with Laker great Magic Johnson rousing the crowd and paying homage to Bryant, killed along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven victims in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan.


Johnson also paid tribute to former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who oversaw explosive growth in the popularity of the game during his 30-year tenure.

Stern died on Jan.


Before tip-off, the singer and actor Jennifer Hudson, who is a Chicago native, sang with a montage of photos of Bryant and his daughter in the background.

The game was a culmination of a weekend filled with tributes to the former Los Angeles Lakers star who was an 18-time All-Star and won the All-Star game's MVP award four times.

On Friday, Bryant, who is fourth all-time in league scoring, was named a finalist to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

On Saturday, the league's commissioner, Adam Silver, announced that the league's All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award has been permanently named for Bryant.

Bryant made his NBA All-Star Game debut in 1998 at age 19 - the youngest player to ever play in an All-Star Game.

His 18 All-Star selections are the second-most in NBA history, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at 19.

Players in Sunday's All-Star game wore No.

2 and No.

24 on their jerseys to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant, while the game's format paid homage to Bryant.

The team with the most points after three quarters needed to score 24 points to win, while the trailing team had to score 24 plus the number of points it was down.

Team Giannis held a nine-point lead over Team LeBron after three quarters, but the LeBron James-led side had the last laugh, outscoring Team Giannis 33-22 in the final period to clinch a 157-155 victory.

Team Giannis was headed by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Team LeBron's Kawhi Leonard was named All-Star MVP after scoring 30 points, including eight three-pointers.

(Production: David Grip)

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