HOUSTON — Enough with the preliminaries — especially the pregame Ke$ha concert — let’s get on with the real show. Time for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game.
We’ve got this show covered for you. First, over on the mothership NBC site is a running log of everything tweeted by myself, PBT’s Brett Pollakoff, as well as CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely and CSN Houston’s Dave Zangaro, Howard Chen and Sara Eckert. It’s a great running stream of our reactions and our attempts at humor.
Also below is my running blog from the game. And pregame. And Alisha Keys show. And whatever else happens and grabs my attention. Comment below and let’s have fun.
PREGAME: They are showing the pre-game concert from All-Star Jam in the arena. Which means a lot of Ke$ha. I’m sure moments like this is what Bill Russell dreamed of back in the day.
PREGAME: Dwight Howard, out taking warmup shots, takes a half courter, knocks it down, then jogs of the court. He knows when to make an exit… well, he’s learned when to make an exit.
PREGAME: If you’re looking for something to watch other that Charles Barkley’s pregame insights — and you should be — may I recommend the guys from The Basketball Jones asking All-Star weekend players what they could beat Michael Jordan at.
PREGAME: The Western Conference players have taken the court for warmups, going through layup lines with less energy than even a regular season game. My two impressions are that James Harden’s beard is glorious; and that Carmelo Anthony can’t take his eyes off Craig Sager’s jacket. That can lead to blindness.
PREGAME: The Eastern Conference comes out for about two minutes of warmups. I am thinking about predicting Jrue Holiday to win MVP. Just to go off the board.
PREGAME: But before we get to basketball, don’t we all need some Ne-Yo? Doesn’t matter, about to get him anyway.
PREGAME: I’m not Ne-Yo’s biggest fan, but I’ll take him over KeSha any day.
PREGAME: I’ve always waited for the moment Ne-Yo and Gregg Popovich shared the stage together. I bet they would make great friends.
PREGAME: Kevin Durant’s cheers almost as loud as those for hometown boy James Harden.
PREGAME: We are 44 minutes past the start of the broadcast time, how about playing some basketball? Just an idea. Wanted to put it out there.
PREGAME: I will say I liked John Legend’s national anthem. Simple, clean, good tempo.
TIP OFF: Finally.
11:45 1st Q: Opening play looks like every Clipper game, CP3 to Blake Griffin. Griffin ends up with the game’s first two buckets.
8:55 1st Q: Chris Paul with the first huge highlight of the game — hits a three, steals a pass intended for Carmelo then gets a between the legs assist pushing back the other way. LeBron James then answered with a dunk.
7:55 1st Q: The MVP always goes to the guy who wakes up Sunday morning and says “I want to be MVP.” So far the guy hustling like that is Chris Paul.
7:45 1st Q: LeBron with his second huge dunk. Can we retroactively give him the Dunk Contest title?
5:34 1st Q: Great in house reaction to a video of NBA players singing love songs. No, Dwyane Wade can’t sing. But he’s selling it.
4:24 1st Q: And another big dunk by LeBron. He and Carmelo Anthony each have 7 to be game highs so far.
2:44 1st Q: Waiting to see who decides to take this game over. It’s 23-20 West right now. By the way, Rockets dancers performing to Salt ‘N Pepa.
2:01 1st Q: Joakim Noah works hard for the offensive board, gets the putback and sprints back down court. He knows it’s an All-Star Game, right?
:15 1st Q: Erik Spoelstra trying a defensive lineup with Noah, Luol Deng and Tyson Chandler all on the court at the same time.
END OF 1st Q: West 31, East 26. It’s pretty low scoring for an All-Star game.
END OF 1st Q: Yao Ming and Hakeem Olajuwon. That’s a lot of Rockets center right there.
9:23 2nd Q: David Lee enters the game. He’s the first Warrior to play in an All-Star game since the Garfield administration.
7:48 2nd Q: The East bench got up and was screaming after that Jrue Holiday dunk. He can get up.
7:39 2nd Q: Bill Russell shown on big board. He got more applause than “Diddy” but less than Jay-Z with Beyonce.
6:00 2nd Q: To this point Kevin Durant is the game’s high scorer with 14.
4:25 2nd Q: Blake Griffin has eight points, all on dunks. So, pretty much your standard Clipper game.
3:33 2nd Q: Kevin Durant with a huge dunk to get his 19th point. So yes, if West wins he is your MVP.
1:01 2nd Q: It was a two-on-one with Chris Bosh defending CP3 and Griffin. Bosh conceded the layup to take away the alley-oop. Ugh. He know’s it’s an All-Star Game, right?
HALFTIME: 69-65 West. If this thing is still close in the fourth quarter, it will get fun as guys really start to try and defend.
HALFTIME: Chris Bosh was just painful in the first half. Bad shot after bad shot (2-for-7 with three airballs), CP3 just clowned him dribbling between his legs, and Bosh took away a couple lobs to surrender layups.
HALFTIME: Fun with halftime stats — Wade leads the East with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting. He also leads the East with 6 assists. Durant leads all scorers with 19 on just 12 shots. Chris Bosh had three airballs. Blake Griffin with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, and I don’t remember him missing a dunk. Chris Bosh had someone dribble or pass between his legs twice. Russell Westbrook had 8 off the bench and looked like a guy who could really step up.
HALFTIME: On twitter, people were hating on Alisha Keys. In the arena, from behind the stage where I could see almost nothing, she played pretty well. I think. I couldn’t really see.
HALFTIME: The West is back out warming up with 11 minutes before play starts again. Popovich apparently not much of a halftime speech tonight.
10:12 3rd Q: LeBron with a couple early buckets, he may decide to assert himself. Because he can. Kobe with a couple early shots, too. Still a one-point game.
7:27 3rd Q: Let it be noted that at this time Tim Duncan got his first points of the night.
5:56 3rd Q: Inflatable mascots are so much better than the regular mascots.
5:56 3rd Q: Heat taking over East, Wade with 21 and LeBron 18.
2:34 3rd Q: James Harden knocks down a three for his seventh point. Crowd wants him to turn it on, gets loud.
END OF 3rd Q: Jrue Holiday knocks down a jumper with .02 left on the clock to make it 108-104 West with 12 minutes to go. The final quarter could be a lot of fun.
END OF 3RD Q: Noah seems pretty impressed with the end of quarter acrobat entertainment. Then Griffin and Dwight pretended they were going to try moves.
11:05 4th Q: Local fans getting their wish as Harden has stepped up and knocked down a couple more threes. He’s got 13. Can he win MVP? It’s fan voting, anyone could win MVP.
8:42 4th Q: West creating a little space, with 119-111 lead. It’s not much but the East is going to have to get a little focused now. Holiday did, played some actual defense on Westbrook, who seemed almost confused by it.
4:59 4th Q: Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin with back-to-back big dunks keeps the West ahead by five. But the final five minutes of this game is going to get interesting. You can see the intensity ratcheting up.
3:31 4th Q: Chris Paul with a couple big plays, a driving layup past Kyrie Irving and a three over Chris Bosh makes it 132-126 West. East just cannot close the gap completely.
2:33 4th Q: That felt like the game — Kobe Bryant swat blocked LeBron James, Durant chased the ball down and dunked it for his 30th point. Durant is your MVP…. don’t screw it up fans voting at home.
2:17 4th Q: You get the feeling LeBron is about to try to take over this game. To own it. Durant played some good defense but LeBron drew the foul. 8 point game.
1:06 4th Q: Great job by Chris Paul who dragged out the clock and hit a three over Noah. Paul has been huge this game with 19 points, 15 dimes.
:47.7 4th Q: The dagger is the Blake Griffin breakaway, off the backboard to himself dunk. Ballgame West.
:22 4th Q: A Carmelo Anthony three keeps it within four, so the East is playing the foul game. Truly a great All-Star moment.
END OF GAME: Your final score, West 143, East 138 Kevin Durant will be the MVP…. actually you have it to Chris Paul and I’m not going to argue that. As I said above he was in it early then hit the key shots down the stretch. No argument.
Thanks for following along everyone. It was fun (well, except for the wi-fi issues in the arena).
Check back to PBT to catch a boatload of stories and video out of tonight. Then come back this week for the trade deadline, we will have everything you need to know. And probably a few things you don’t. We’re like that.