All-Star halftime: East 76 West 69

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Really, the highlight so far is the Batman outfit Usher wore pregame.

That or the few minutes of Steve Nash/Jason Kidd backcourt, just so Dallas fans could be reminded what they had in 1997. Aside that, pretty standard All-Star game first half.

The crowd has not seemed totally into it. Maybe because they are sitting three miles from the court, and realizing they paid a lot of money to watch the game on television. A really cool, huge television (bigger than the court) but a television none-the-less.

In the first quarter it looked like Carmelo Anthony wanted the MVP trophy more than anyone, with 11 first quarter shots. That led to 13 points, and he was the only player attacking the rim it seemed (eight of those shots a the rim). Everyone else was in love with the jump shot.  Even Dwight Howard, who launched and made a three pointer, which still led to a glare of disgust from East coach Stan Van Gundy. Howard launched on the next trip down, too.

Then in the second quarter, the game opened up. Well, actually the players started getting in the offensive flow, but as nobody was going to play any defense it just became a dunk fest. Guys in this game draw double teams in regular games, not get open lanes. They light up — Deron Williams and Dwyane Wade probably had the best.

Then LeBron James started to take over, the East got out and ran and the result was the lead they got. LeBron and Howard have 11, Chris Bosh and Wade with 10. Out West, Melo with 17 and Kevin Durant has looked sharp with 10.

Shakira at halftime… let’s see the button down, love us some classic rock NFL do something like this at halftime.

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

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The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

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Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

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This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.