Russell Westbrook came out firing and couldn’t miss.Staying aggressive, the eccentric and sometimes-overshadowed Westbrook of Oklahoma City shined brightest in the Big Apple.Westbrook scored 41 points, one shy of the All-Star Game record, to lead the Western Conference to a 163-158 over the Eastern Conference in the 64th All-Star Game on Sunday night.
Wilt Chamberlain holds the all-time mark, netting 42 in the 1962 edition of the All-Star Game.
“It’s amazing. It’s a blessing to be here in New York City,” Westbrook said during the All-Star Game MVP ceremony.
Westbrook put in 27 points over the first 24 minutes to set a record for most in a half and finished 16-of-28 for the West, who have won four of the last five All-Star Games.He hit eight of his first nine attempts.
“I came out and made a few shots and when I made a few shots, I stayed aggressive,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook has had to carry the Thunder at times this season with reigning MVP Kevin Durant shelved for 27 games so far. The UCLA product recorded four 40- point games over his last nine heading into the break, including 45 and 48- point outings against the New Orleans Pelicans in consecutive games on Feb. 4 and 6. The 321 total points accumulated also set an all-time record, surpassing the 320 tallied a year ago.
James Harden had 29 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, LaMarcus Aldridge supplied 18 points and Stephen Curry provided 15 points, nine boards and five assists in the triumph.
LeBron James led the East with 30 points, seven helpers and five boards, John Wall registered 19 points and seven assists and Pau Gasol added 10 points and 12 rebounds. New York’s Carmelo Anthony poured in 14 points on his home floor, but was just 6-of-20 from the floor and 2-of-13 from beyond the arc.Atlanta, which holds the Eastern Conference’s best record at 43-11, had all four of its All Stars in at once at times. Kyle Korver led the quartet with 21 points, going 7-of-12 from long distance.Kyrie Irving’s fancy layup tied the game at 148-148 with 4:19 remaining. He drove from the top of the key, splitting Curry and DeMarcus Cousins, swung the ball from the right to his left and finished the drive with a left-handed scoop shot for a three-point play.
James is two points of tying Kobe Bryant’s record of 280 career All-Star Game points … The East had won the first four All-Star Games held in New York,including the last one in 1998 … The 48 total 3-pointers made set an All-Star Game record. The previous mark was 30, set last season … Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol became the first set of brothers to start in an All-Star Game … Glen Rice and Irving held the previous record for most points in a half with 24.