NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

NBA notebook: LeBron keeps perfect record, wins NBA All-Star Game

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo holds up the MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta on Sunday. [AP Photo/Brynn Anderson]
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo holds up the MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta on Sunday. [AP Photo/Brynn Anderson]

LeBron keeps perfect record, wins NBA All-Star Game

In the midst of a pandemic, this was assured of being an NBA All-Star Game like no other.

But in the end, it had a familiar feel. Team LeBron won again.

Knocking down shots from all over the court, LeBron James' powerhouse squad closed the first half with a dominating run to set up a 170-150 romp over Team Durant in the league's 70th midseason showcase Sunday night.

The top vote-getters in each conference have picked the teams the last four years, a duty that James has earned every season.

He’s now 4-0, having defeated Stephen Curry’s squad in 2018 and teams selected by Milwaukee’s two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo the previous two years.

Antetokounmpo was the game’s MVP after shooting 16 of 16 for 35 points, even making all three of his attempts beyond the 3-point stripe. It was the most baskets without a miss in All-Star Game history.

Curry chipped in with 28 points, while Lillard had 32.

James spent most of the night admiring his drafting skill from the bench. He played less than 13 minutes, scored just four points, and didn’t return to the court in the second half.

Blazers' Simons wins abbreviated slam dunk contest

Portland’s Anfernee Simons brought innovation to the All-Star slam dunk contest. Indiana’s Cassius Stanley displayed acrobatics with his 46-inch vertical. New York’s Obi Toppin showed force and leaping ability.

In an abbreviated dunk contest at halftime of the All-Star Game at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, the 21-year-old, 6-3 Simons won the event.

On his one dunk in the finals against Toppin, Simons bounced the basketball off the court and with a one-handed dunk, while suspended in the air, pretended to kiss the rim.

Toppin leapt over teammate Julius Randle and his dad, Obadiah Toppin, for windmill dunk, but it was not enough to sway the judges.

There was a slight change to the judging in this year’s contest. The winner was decided by judge's choice after both finalists completed their dunks.

Judges Dominque Wilkins, Dee Brown and Jason Richardson voted for Simons’ dunk. Spud Webb and Josh Smith gave their vote to Toppin.

Nobody tested positive for COVID-19 at All-Star Game

The NBA's mini-bubble in Atlanta for the All-Star Game apparently worked.

No players, coaches or game officials tested positive for COVID-19 while in Atlanta, the NBA said Monday after the final tests were processed and results were returned to the league and the teams involved.

That includes Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, a pair of All-Stars who had to miss the game and left Atlanta early after being flagged through contact tracing. A barber both saw before going to Atlanta tested positive, and that meant Embiid and Simmons were potentially exposed to the virus. By league policy this season they couldn't play Sunday night.

“All players, coaches, and game officials were tested for COVID three times after arriving in Atlanta, including a final test immediately prior to last night’s All-Star Game," the league said in a statement Monday. “Each of those tests returned a negative result, confirming no one on the court for last night’s events was infected."

Wire reports