CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Latest on All-Star Weekend. (all times local)
The third quarter of the All-Star game has begun after a halftime show by rapper J. Cole.
Cole who wore a Hornets jacket and jeans, started his show atop a glass platform, opening with “Middle Child.” He launched into “A lot” as he walked into the crowd at midcourt and then broke into “ATM” as the lights dimmed.
He slowed things down with what he told the crowd was his favorite song “Love Yourz” before closing with G-rated version of his most popular hit “No Role Modelz.”
Team Giannis led 95-82 after the first half, highlighted by Stephen Curry bounce pass over the rim that Giannis Antetokounmpo caught high above the rim and slammed home.
The big question of the second half will be which team decides to play defense first. Antetokounmpo had five uncontested dunks in the first quarter and leads all scorers with 20 points on 10 of 12 shooting.
Kevin Durant has 13 points for Team LeBron, which is just 13 of 41 from 3-point range
Giannis Antetokounmpo has 20 points -most of those coming on dunks- to lead all scorers as his team leads Team LeBron 95-82 at halftime of Sunday night’s All-Star game.
Bucks teammate Kris Middleton has five 3-pointers and 17 points, while Paul George has 14 points for Team Giannis, which is threatening to challenge the NBA All-Star Game record of 196 points in a game set by the West All-Stars in 2016.
Kevin Durant leads Team LeBron with 13 points but James Harden is struggling, going 1 of 7 from the field.
Stephen Curry has just six points in his return to Charlotte for Team Giannis.
If this is Dirk Nowitzki’s last All-Star game, he’s making the most of it.
The 40-year-old Nowitzki is showing that he still has the shooting touch, knocking down all three of his uncontested 3-point attempts for Team Giannis.
Paul George had 360-degree dunk, but that wasn’t even the best play of the second quarter.
That belonged to Stephen Curry when he delivered a bounce pass that sailed over the other side of the rim to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who slammed it home for his sixth dunk of the game. Antetokounmpo leads all scorers with 18 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is taking aim at NBA All-Star Game MVP honors, scoring 16 points on 8 of 8 shooting – including five dunks – to give his team a 53-37 lead after the first quarter over Team LeBron. He also has three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Khris Middleton is heating up too with 12 points on four 3-pointers.
Team LeBron is offering little defense with Team Giannis on pace to break 200 points.
Kevin Durant has 10 points to lead Team LeBron, which is just 6 of 21 from 3-point range.
Dirk Nowitzki knocked down two 3-pointers late in the first quarter for Team Giannis. Dwyane Wade also has checked into the game in his last All-Star game appearance for Team LeBron.
Team Giannis set an All-Star record with 23 field goals in the quarter, topping the mark of 22 set on four other occasions – by both the West and the East in the first quarter of the 2017 game, and by the West in both the second and third quarters of the 2016 game.
The 53 points tied a one-quarter All-Star record as well, matching the total by the West in the third quarter of the 2016 games and by the East in the first quarter of the 2017 game.
The All-Star game has begun with the feel of a Giannis Antetokounmpo dunk fest.
Antetokounmpo has 14 points on five dunks and Team Giannis is leading midway through the first quarter. The Milwaukee Bucks forward even tried to dunk by purposely missing a free throw, but was called for a lane violation when the ball didn’t hit the rim.
Antetokounmpo is getting the job done but Team LeBron isn’t playing much defense – not that Team Giannis is putting up much resistance either.
Kevin Durant has nine points for Team LeBron
The NBA All-Star game has tipped off with Hornets guard Kemba Walker making his first career All-Star start for Team Giannis against Team LeBron.
He’s the game’s only first-time starter and received a huge ovation during warmups – although not quite as loud as Stephen Curry, who grew up in Charlotte and received the loudest roar from the crowd.
That could make Team Giannis the crowd favorite.
But Team Giannis could have a difficult time going against a stacked team that includes LeBron James, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant starting.
Carley Rap Jepsen Carly Rae Jepsen sang the Canadian national anthem, while Charlotte native Anthony Hamilton sang a stirring rendition of the “Star Bangled Banner.”
Joel Embiid and Stephen Curry warmed up to play basketball – by playing volleyball.
Embiid and Curry passed a basketball back and forth before Sunday night’s All-Star game by using volleyball maneuvers, perfectly executing bumps and sets. That is, until Embiid seemed to decide he was bored with all that.
He took his massive right arm and, with fine form, spiked the ball as one would when trying for a kill and a point in volleyball. The ball bounced hard off the court, the carom skipping over the sideline and the ball winding up in the second row of seats.
Embiid covered his mouth in mock disbelief, and the volleyball game ended.
When Michael Jordan talks, people tend to listen. Apparently the same goes for his mother, Deloris Jordan.
The mother of the six-time NBA champion and Hornets owner delivered an inspirational speech during All-Star Weekend to a group of about 100 mothers of current NBA players at a breakfast at a steakhouse in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Deloris told the group Saturday that it’s time for them to bond together and do more to help others in the community with their resources.
Stephen Curry’s mother, Sonya, who helped organize the event along with Chris Paul’s mom, Robin, says Deloris summed up meeting when she told everyone, “We are blessed to be a blessing” to others.
Deloris pushed NBA moms to get together as a group -because there is power in numbers- and make an impact in their communities.
It’s a message Sonya says is well overdue and the group needed to hear because “there has been a lot of separation over the last couple of years I feel like just in our world. There is no community and we need to bring that back.”
Dell Curry, Muggsy Bogues, Alonzo Mourning and Glen Rice were honorees at the 20th annual NBA Legends Brunch.
The brunch is a tradition on the morning of the All-Star game. About 2,000 people attended Sunday, including about 200 former NBA players.
Curry was presented a “hometown hero” award. Bogues was feted for his work as a community ambassador. Mourning received the Global Ambassador Award, and Rice was selected as the Charlotte Hornets Legend of the Year.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was among the speakers, along with Dikembe Mutombo and actor and comedian JB Smoove.
All-Star Sunday has arrived.
The 68th edition of the NBA’s annual midseason showcase exhibition game gets played in Charlotte, with LeBron James set to start for the 15th consecutive year, Kemba Walker ready to excite his home crowd and legends Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade ready to bid the game farewell as their careers wind down.
After that, the true All-Star “break” begins. There are no games on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, which gives every player and coach a couple of needed days off before the real playoff push begins.
Play resumes Thursday night with six games, as the sprint to the end of the regular season begins.
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