Westbrook named NBA All Star Game MVP

Posted at 5:18 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 18:33:07-05

TORONTO (AP) — The Latest on Sunday's events at the NBA's All-Star Weekend in Toronto (all times local):


11:08 p.m.


Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has been named MVP of the 2016 All-Star game, giving him the award for the second straight season.

Westbrook led the Western Conference with 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a 196-173 win over the Eastern Conference in Toronto.

Westbrook won the award in Brooklyn last year as well. The only other player to win back-to-back All-Star MVPs was Bob Pettit of St. Louis in 1958 and 1959. But Pettit shared the award with Elgin Baylor in 1959.

— Jon Krawczynski


11:04 p.m.

Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and the Western Conference set an All-Star record for points in a game with a 196-173 victory over the East on Sunday.

Kobe Bryant scored 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting while playing in his 18th and final All-Star game. Chris Paul had 14 points and 16 assists for the West. Bryant left the game to a standing ovation with 1:06 to play.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George led all scorers with 41 points for the East, one off Wilt Chamberlain's single-game record set in 1962.

The previous high for points in a game was 163, which had been done twice previously. The West surpassed that with about eight minutes to play in the game.

— Jon Krawczynski


10:35 p.m.

It might be time soon for some defense at the All-Star game.

The game is headed to the fourth quarter, the only time players usually put any effort into stopping anyone in this spectacle that otherwise is all offense, all the time.

The West leads 145-136 after a big third quarter from Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, who scored 14 of his 22 points. He was the MVP of last year's game in New York, when his 41 points were one shy of the All-Star Game record held by Wilt Chamberlain.

Paul George leads the East with 32. Anthony Davis has 24 for the West has missed only one of his 13 shots.

— Brian Mahoney


10:25 p.m.

The stars have come out to play at the NBA's All-Star game in Toronto, and not just on the court.

It's always an event when the biggest names in basketball are playing at the same time, and among the stars spotted on Sunday were actors Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Hart and Chris Tucker, Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Supermodel Kate Upton and boyfriend Justin Verlander are here as well, along with Jon Stewart.

And of course hip-hop superstar and Toronto native Drake was courtside, right next actor/director Spike Lee.

— Jon Krawczynski


9:38 p.m.

Kawhi Leonard has 13 points and Kobe Bryant has 10 points and five rebounds to help the Western Conference take a 92-90 lead over the East into halftime at the NBA's All-Star game.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George leads all scorers with 16 points. LeBron James and Toronto favorite Kyle Lowry each have 11 for the East.

Like usual, the game has been filled with plenty of dunks and offense and very little defense. Playing in his 18th and final All-Star game, Bryant has made 4 of 8 shots.

He had a memorable one-on-one showdown with James in the second quarter. LeBron slapped the floor on defense in front of him as the crowd cheered, but Bryant missed a tough fallaway jumper.

— Jon Krawczynski


9:05 p.m.

After one quarter of the All-Star Game, the Eastern Conference leads the Western Conference 43-40.

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James never met in an NBA Finals, so they squared off another way — they took the opening tap against one another, with Bryant winning.

The East starters all took turns guarding Bryant in the opening minutes, even though "guarding" is a relative term in an All-Star Game.

Dwyane Wade and James re-enacted some of their former Miami Heat hijinks, teaming up for an alley-oop dunk in the opening moments. They could have had another spectacular one midway through the quarter, but James couldn't finish after a snazzy high bounce pass from Wade.

Paul George leads all scorers with 14 points for the East. Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis each have 10 so far for the West, Davis getting his on 5 for 5 shooting.

— Tim Reynolds


8:35 p.m.

Kobe Bryant was the subject of a pregame tribute including two videos at the All-Star Game.

With the NBA calling his career brilliant, there was first a video that showed clips of some of Bryant's best moments — starting with his draft-night selection, an array of dunks, a famous lob to Shaquille O'Neal in a playoff win over Portland, some game-winning shots, his defensive intensity and even some images of his Olympic play.

And yes, there was a mention of his 81-point game against Toronto, probably to the dismay of the home crowd.

After the first video, Magic Johnson took the microphone to laud Bryant even further and eventually introduce a second tape of Bryant's moments, with the retiring Los Angeles Lakers great narrating parts of it and other All-Stars offering him words of thanks.

Bryant then addressed the crowd, as they chanted his name at a deafening level. Bryant said he's "been extremely fortunate to play the game I love and be in the NBA for more than half my life."

He ended his remarks by saying, "Thank you so much — and now I've got to go get loose."

— Tim Reynolds


7:55 p.m.

Count Eastern Conference All-Star guard Dwyane Wade among those still raving about Saturday night's dunk contest finale between eventual winner Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon.

Wade says he heard plenty of people say that it was the best contest ever, and the Heat guard says, "I'm starting to think it was."

Wade was once a very explosive dunker, and says he couldn't even imagine how LaVine and Gordon came up with some of the dunks they executed on Saturday night. He says people will talk about that matchup for a long time.

— Tim Reynolds


5:15 p.m.

Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Legends Brunch on Sunday.

Robertson got the award from fellow Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns — the newly crowned skills challenge winner at All-Star weekend.

The brunch was hosted by the National Basketball Retired Players Association.

Robertson is a past president of the players' association. In his remarks Sunday he urged the NBA's current players to study the history of how past players fought for certain rights "and look where you are today."

Johnson said Robertson is one of his heroes, and Towns raved about the chance to share the stage with the "Big O."

— Tim Reynolds


2:15 p.m.

After outlasting Aaron Gordon in what many believe was the best slam dunk contest in All-Star weekend history, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine posted a touching tribute to the late Flip Saunders on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Saunders, the Timberwolves president and coach, died suddenly from Hodgkins lymphoma just days before the season started. Saunders drafted LaVine 13th overall two years ago despite the young guard playing only one season as a bench player at UCLA.

LaVine posted a photo of his dunk championship trophy resting on a black Timberwolves jersey. The name "FLIP" was written across the back and LaVine's No. 8 was rotated horizontally to mimic an infinity sign.

"I dedicate this dunk contest and the trophy to my late coach, Flip Saunders and the Saunders family," LaVine wrote. "He's the one that always believed in me and drafted me! We all loved Flip and his memory will love on forever!"

— Jon Krawczynski