Kobe Bryant enters history books as Western Conference shines at NBA All-Star Game

Kobe Bryant entered the NBA All-Star history books as he and an inspired Kevin Durant earned the Western Conference a thrilling 152-149 victory over the East on Sunday night in Orlando. Bryant’s haul of 27 points saw him displace Michael Jordan as the game’s all-time record points scorer, crowning his landmark with a third-quarter dunk.
However, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award went to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Durant who finished the night with 36 points. The West were 20 points in front on two occasions in the fourth quarter, but were thankful for Blake Griffin's interception of LeBron James’ pass and Dwyane Wade's missed three-pointer as they hung on to win after seeing their lead cut to a single point in the closing stages.

James matched Durant's total but was guilty of the hopeful pass picked off by Griffin while his Miami Heat teammate Wade racked up 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to join Jordan and James as the only players with a triple-double in an All-Star game. Griffin scored 22 points for the West which rang up 88 points in the first half, setting an All-Star record. But the La Clippers power forward won the game with his defense, picking off James' pass when the East had a chance to tie in the final seconds.

Griffin then hit one free throw with 1.1 seconds left, and Wade was off on a 3-point attempt from the corner. With Durant clinching the MVP honours, LA Lakers star Bryant, who was bloodied by a hard foul from Wade, was left tied for the All-Star record with his four MVP awards. But he secured a bigger mark in his 13th All-Star appearance when he broke Jordan’s record of 262 points courtesy a dunk with 4.57 left in the third quarter.  Bryant now has career haul of 271 having entered the game with 244 and also passing Oscar Robertson (246 points) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (251) along the way.

LeBron James hiked his scoring average to 25.9 points over his eight All-Star games. Minnesota Timberwolves centre Kevin Love, who won the 3-point contest on Saturday, scored 17 points for the West while Clippers point guard Chris Paul had eight points and 12 assists.