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.

John Wall drops J.R. Smith with crossover, makes layup (VIDEO)

John Wall
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John Wall is one of the hardest players to guard in the NBA. J.R. Smith found that out the hard way on Tuesday night when Wall sent him flying with a behind-the-back dribble before making an easy layup.

The Wizards beat the Cavs, who are now 13-5 on the season.

Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.