Defence seems a foreign concept as East beat West
All-Star teams go on offensive drive, but Wilt the Stilt's scoring record is safe for another year
The Eastern Conference finally stopped Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin as they stopped their losing streak at the NBA All-Star game.
Kyrie Irving had 31 points and 14 assists and was voted the game's MVP, Carmelo Anthony made a record eight three-pointers and scored 30 points, and the East rallied for a 163-155 victory over the West in the highest-scoring All-Star game ever.
"It's a great honour," Irving said. "We had a few MVPs. Everyone out here today is an MVP."
Durant and Griffin each finished with 38 points, four shy of Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star game record. But the East scored the final 10 points to pull out a game they trailed by 18.
"We wanted it," LeBron James said. "I've been a part of the last three and in defeat."
Irving scored 15 points in the fourth quarter as the East ended a three-game losing streak. James had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
"The superstars of our league were just telling us to compete on every play," Irving said. "Trying to play as much defence as possible. You know, sticking to our game plan. We had a game plan going in and we executed."
The 318 points broke the record of 303 set in 1987.
Griffin shot 19 of 23, while Durant finished with 10 rebounds and six assists.
But the West were shut out after Durant's three-pointer gave them a 155-153 lead with 1:59 left. Indiana's Paul George made three free throws, Anthony nailed his final three-pointer, and James scored to make it 161-155. George closed it out with two more free throws and finished with 18 points.
The game that usually doesn't get tight until the final minutes was close throughout the fourth quarter, neither team leading by more than four until the final minute.
Chris Paul had 11 points and 13 assists, and first-time All-Star Stephen Curry had 12 points and 11 assists for the West. But the best point guard on the floor was Irving, who shot 14 of 17 and helped the East ring up 87 points in the second half after they surrendered a record 89 in the first.
In a colourful tribute to New Orleans, players wore sneakers and socks that ranged from green and blue to orange and purple, making the game look like a Mardi Gras parade.
The parade was one of lay-ups and dunks for the West, who scored 44 points in the first quarter and 45 in the second.
And there was plenty of music, the rosters and starting lineups introduced around a concert by Pharrell Williams, who was joined by his own All-Stars in Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Snoop Dogg.
Magic Johnson led a band, too, encouraging the All-Stars to join him in singing Happy Birthday after the first quarter to Hall of Famer Bill Russell, 80, the NBA's greatest champion.
The All-Star newcomers included official Violet Palmer, who became the first female to referee an All-Star game.