(Reuters) LeBron James scored 10 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter as Team LeBron rallied to defeat Team Stephen 148-145 in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
James added 10 rebounds and eight assists and led a feverish defensive stop on the final possession to preserve the victory and earn MVP honors. He is the league’s All-Star Game MVP for a third time, joining Bob Petit (four), Kobe Bryant (four), Oscar Robertson (three), Michael Jordan (three) and Shaquille O’Neal (three) with three or more.
Kevin Durant added 19 points, Paul George scored 16, Andre Drummond and Bradley Beal had 14 each, Kyrie Irving 13, Anthony Davis 12 and Kemba Walker 11 for Team LeBron.
Russell Westbrook contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Team LeBron.
DeMar Rozan and Damian Lillard led Team Stephen with 21 points each, while Joel Embiid scored 19, Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 16, Klay Thompson had 15, James Harden 12 and Curry 11.
After DeRozan made 1 of 2 free throws to give Team Stephen a one-point lead with 40 seconds left, James scored on a drive to put his team ahead. After a turnover by Team Stephen, James fed Russell Westbrook for a layup and a 148-145 lead with 10 seconds left.
A trapping defense by James and Durant prevented Curry and his team from getting off a shot on the final possession.
“We got stops when we needed to, got some buckets, made some big plays down the stretch. It was good,” Westbrook said on TNT after the game. “We wanted to win. We take pride, and we came out to win.
It was fun and exciting to get to go against other guys from the same conference. It was fun.”
Durant’s 3-pointer gave Team LeBron a one-point lead at the outset of the third quarter, but DeRozan and Embiid scored five points each as Team Stephen took a 90-83 lead.
Team LeBron twice got within two points and once got within one point three times before Beal’s 3-pointer gave James’ club a 105-103 lead.
The score was tied twice before Curry’s 3-pointer gave his team a 112-109 lead after three quarters.
Lillard scored seven points as Team Stephen built the lead to 133-120 midway through the fourth quarter.
George’s 3-pointer ended the run, he made another and James converted a three-point play as Team LeBron got within 136-133.
Irving’s basket got Team LeBron within a point and Westbrook twice made baskets that James’ squad within one.
Embiid scored on a layup before James hit a 3-pointer to even the score at 144 with 1:30 remaining.