Chris Paul scored 20 points, dished out 15 assists, and grabbed 5 steals to lead the Western Conference to a 143-138 win at Houston on Sunday evening. Paul was named MVP for his performance, joining Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas as the only three players in NBA All-Star game history to achieve 20 or more points and 15 assists in an All-Star game. Paul was particularly effective in his passing to teammate Blake Griffin, who scored 19 points on 9-11 shooting – all dunks.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 points, followed by Griffin’s 19, James Harden with 15, Tony Parker with 13, and Russell Westbrook tallying 14. Kobe Bryant scored 9 points, but was particularly tenacious on defense against LeBron James, perhaps due to comments made by Michael Jordan earlier in the week comparing the two. Bryant blocked a James shot late in the fourth quarter and two seemed to be jawing at each other all game long.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will now return to begin the season’s home stretch of 26 games, starting with a contest against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center Thursday evening.